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Why Don't Issuers Get Upset About Leaving Money on the Table in IPOs?


  • Tim Loughran

    (University of Notre Dame)

  • Jay R. Ritter

    (University of Florida)


One of the puzzles regarding initial public offerings (IPOs) is that issuers rarely get upset about leaving substantial amounts of money on the table, defined as the number of shares sold times the difference between the first-day closing market price and the offer price. The average IPO leaves $9.1 million on the table. This number is approximately twice as large as the fees paid to investment bankers and represents a substantial indirect cost to the issuing firm. We present a prospect theory model that focuses on the covariance of the money left on the table and wealth changes. Our reasoning also provides an explanation for a second puzzling pattern: much more money is left on the table following recent market rises than after market falls. This results in an explanation of hot issue markets. We also offer a new explanation for why IPOs are underpriced. Copyright 2002, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Loughran & Jay R. Ritter, 2002. "Why Don't Issuers Get Upset About Leaving Money on the Table in IPOs?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 15(2), pages 413-444, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:rfinst:v:15:y:2002:i:2:p:413-444

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