Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Cline, Brandon N.

Committee Member

Highfield, Michael J.

Committee Member

Taboada, Alvaro G.

Committee Member

Blank, Douglas B.

Committee Member

Jones, Todd R.

Date of Degree


Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Business Administration with a Major in Finance

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D)


College of Business


Department of Finance and Economics


In the first essay we study whether and how personal off-the-job managerial indiscretions impact corporate insiders’ trading behavior. We find that executives accused of personal indiscretions earn significantly higher abnormal returns from their insider purchases and sales in a 15-day window around each trade. The results are robust to matched sample analyses. Further, insiders’ historical trading pattern or corporate culture has less explanatory power than personal attributes. We also document that exposure of these indiscretions to the public provides a disciplinary effect, as insider trading profits significantly drop following the announcement of an indiscretion, despite this drop being temporary. Corporate governance mechanisms, such as blackout policies, significantly reduce abnormal returns earned by indiscretion executives.

In the second essay we find that individualistic countries regulate insider trading activities more intensely. The result is robust to controlling for alternative culture variables, additional controls, and instrumental variable analysis. We also document that individualism’s effect is magnified in democratic countries. In addition, we study the economic and financial consequences of individualism, insider trading regulation, and its enforcement. The analysis suggests that individualism and the enforcement of insider trading regulation promote financial development. Interaction effects reveal that individualism and insider trading regulation serve as complements to promote financial development. These findings contribute to the insider trading debate since regulation alone may not be the primary determinant of market efficiency. Combined, our results challenge prior works concluding that individualism is anti-regulation.

In the last essay we explore the relation between insider trading regulation and the cost of equity in a country. Bhattacharya and Daouk (2002) conduct a comprehensive survey of 103 countries on whether insider trading law exists and has been enforced. They find that the enforcement of insider trading law, not the existence, can significantly reduce the cost of equity in a country. In this paper, we use an updated sample to reevaluate this topic and answer whether this relation still holds after adding 20 years of new data. Preliminary results show that countries with lighter insider trading regulation and countries that have enforced insider trading laws tend to experience lower cost of equity.

Available for download on Thursday, August 15, 2024