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Politicians and the IPO decision: The impact of impending political promotions on IPO activity in China

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  • Piotroski, Joseph D.
  • Zhang, Tianyu

Abstract

This paper shows that incentives created by the impending turnover of local politicians can accelerate the pace of initial public offering (IPO) activity in certain politicized environments. Focusing on China, we exploit a research setting where politicians are rewarded for capital market development, firms rely on political connections for access to capital, rent-seeking behavior is rampant, and the objectives of the state might not be to maximize capital market efficiency. We find that the rate of exchange eligible firms engaging in an IPO temporarily increases in advance of impending political promotion events. This effect holds for both state-owned and non-state-owned entities. For state-owned firms, the effect is strongest in those provinces where the politicians are more likely to be rewarded for market development activity. For non-state-owned firms, the temporary increase in IPO activity appears to be (rationally) opportunistic in nature, with the effect stronger around events more likely to disrupt the firms' political connections. Promotion period IPOs underperform non-promotion period IPOs in terms of both future financial performance and long-run stock returns, have controlling shareholders who retain a larger fraction of the company, and are more likely to divert proceeds away from their intended use after the offering.

Suggested Citation

  • Piotroski, Joseph D. & Zhang, Tianyu, 2014. "Politicians and the IPO decision: The impact of impending political promotions on IPO activity in China," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(1), pages 111-136.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:111:y:2014:i:1:p:111-136
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2013.10.012
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political promotion; Initial public offering; Privatization; Political connection; China;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation

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