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Regulating IPOs: Evidence from going public in London, 1900–1913


  • Burhop, Carsten
  • Chambers, David
  • Cheffins, Brian


This study assesses the impact of self-regulation on equity markets by analysing IPO failure rates on the London Stock Exchange during 1900–13. Focussing on differences between Official Quotation (OQ) and Special Settlement (SS) methods of going public, we find that the failure rate of IPOs by way of SS was considerably higher even after controlling for firm characteristics and for the presence of underwriters and elite directors. Furthermore, overall market-adjusted returns for SS IPOs, including the relatively few IPO “winners”, were extremely poor. Our findings have implications for the literature on self-regulation of securities markets as well as long-standing debates on British capital market development before 1914.

Suggested Citation

  • Burhop, Carsten & Chambers, David & Cheffins, Brian, 2014. "Regulating IPOs: Evidence from going public in London, 1900–1913," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 60-76.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:exehis:v:51:y:2014:i:c:p:60-76 DOI: 10.1016/j.eeh.2013.07.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Espenlaub, Susanne & Goyal, Abhinav & Mohamed, Abdulkadir, 2016. "Impact of legal institutions on IPO survival: A global perspective," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 98-112.
    2. Cattaneo, Mattia & Meoli, Michele & Vismara, Silvio, 2015. "Financial regulation and IPOs: Evidence from the history of the Italian stock market," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 116-131.

    More about this item


    Equity listings; Financial development; Investor protection; Firm survival; Law and finance;

    JEL classification:

    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading
    • G18 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G38 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • K22 - Law and Economics - - Regulation and Business Law - - - Business and Securities Law
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913


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