How to detect illegal corporate insider trading? A data mining approach for detecting suspicious insider transactions

Esen M. F., Bilgic E., Basdas U.

Intelligent Systems in Accounting, Finance and Management, vol.26, pp.60-70, 2019 (ESCI) identifier identifier


Only in the U.S. Stock Exchanges, the daily average trading volume is about 7 billion shares. This vast amount of trading shows the necessity of understanding the hidden insights in the data sets. In this study, a data mining technique, clustering based outlier analysis is applied to detect suspicious insider transactions. 1,244,815 transactions of 61,780 insiders are analysed, which are acquired from Thomson Financial, covering a period of January 2010–April 2017. In order to detect outliers, similar transactions are grouped into the same clusters by using a two‐step clustering based outlier detection technique, which is an integration of k‐means and hierarchical clustering. Then, it is shown that outlying transactions earn higher abnormal returns than non‐outlying transactions by using event study methodology.