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Why Do IPO Auctions Fail?

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  • Ravi Jagannathan
  • Ann E. Sherman

Abstract

We document a somewhat surprising regularity: of the many countries that have used IPO auctions, virtually all have abandoned them. The common explanations given for the lack of popularity of the auction method in the US, viz., issuer reluctance to try a new experimental method, and underwriter pressure towards methods that lead to higher fees, do not fit the evidence. We examine why auctions have failed and verify, to the extent possible, that they are consistent with what academic theory predicts. Both uniform price and discriminatory auctions are plagued by unexpectedly large fluctuations in the number of participants. The free rider problem and the winner's curse hamper price discovery and discourage investors from participating in auctions. Calculating the optimal bids in large multi-unit common value auctions with endogenous entry imposes a huge computational burden. With IPOs taking place sporadically, and each firm being different, auctions are likely to end up being unstable.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12151.

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Date of creation: Apr 2006
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12151

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Degeorge, François & Derrien, François & Womack, Kent L., 2010. "Auctioned IPOs: The US evidence," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 177-194, November.
  2. Young Han Lee & Ulrike Malmendier, 2007. "The Bidder's Curse," NBER Working Papers 13699, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christian Hopp & Axel Dreher, 2007. "Do Differences in Institutional and Legal Environments Explain Cross-Country Variations in IPO Underpricing?," KOF Working papers 07-172, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  4. Joseph K. W. Fung & Sanry Y. S. Che, 2009. "Initial Day Return and Underpricing Cost in Advance Payment Initial Public Offerings," Working Papers 352009, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  5. Trauten, Andreas & Langer, Thomas, 2007. "Information production and bidding in IPOs: An experimental analysis of auctions and fixed-price offerings," Working Papers 50, Competence Center Internet Economy and Hybrid Systems, European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS), University of Münster.
  6. Chiang, Yao-Min & Hirshleifer, David & Qian, Yiming & Sherman, Ann, 2009. "Learning to Fail? Evidence from Frequent IPO Investors," MPRA Paper 16854, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Aug 2009.
  7. Ping Zhang, 2009. "Characterization of Pure Strategy Equilibria in Uniform Price IPO Auctions," Discussion Papers 2009-05, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
  8. Pettway, Richard H. & Thosar, Satish & Walker, Scott, 2008. "Auctions versus book-built IPOs in Japan: A comparison of aftermarket volatility," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 224-235, June.
  9. Adriani, Fabrizio & Deidda, Luca & Sonderegger, Silvia, 2009. "The Role of Financial Intermediaries in Securities Issues: A Theoretical Analysis," MPRA Paper 16112, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Habib, Michel A. & Ziegler, Alexandre, 2007. "Why government bonds are sold by auction and corporate bonds by posted-price selling," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 343-367, July.

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