CEO Marital Status and Insider Trading
We investigate the association between chief executive officers’ (CEOs’) marital status and their tendency to profit from insider trading. We argue that marriage can constrain CEOs’ opportunistic behaviour, which could increase litigation risk, and show that married CEOs earn lower insider trading returns compared to unmarried CEOs. Insider trades can be identified as either routine or opportunistic. We also find that married CEOs are less likely to engage in opportunistic trades, and they earn lower insider trading returns in firms with weaker corporate governance and higher information asymmetry. Our empirical results remain robust after accounting for several endogeneity tests.