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The Stock Market as a Screening Device and the Decision to Go Public

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Listed:
  • Ellingsen, Tore

    () (Department of Economics)

  • Rydqvist, Kristian

    (Norwegian School of Management)

Abstract

We argue that many firms become publicly traded on a stock exchange as the first stage of a longer term divestment plan. Making a direct sale of unlisted stock may be associated with great adverse selection costs. The publicly listed stock price reduces adverse selection by aggregating the information of several investors, and this market valuation, rather than the cash infusion, could be the main benefit of an initial public offering. This theory provides a unified treatment of a whole range of empirical observations, in particular why initial owners frequently exit completely subsequent to an initial public offering (IPO) and why the number of stock market introductions increases with the stock price level. The model also reformulates the ”sweet taste” explanation of IPO underpricing in a way which is consistent with recent evidence. Finally, we argue that the number of firms which go public is inefficiently large.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellingsen, Tore & Rydqvist, Kristian, 1997. "The Stock Market as a Screening Device and the Decision to Go Public," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 174, Stockholm School of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0174
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Johann Burgstaller, 2009. "When and why do Austrian companies issue shares?," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 36(3), pages 229-244, August.
    2. Damiano Bonardo & Stefano Paleari & Silvio Vismara, 2010. "The M&A dynamics of European science-based entrepreneurial firms," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 141-180, February.
    3. Thierry Foucault & Christine A. Parlour, 2004. "Competition for Listings," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(2), pages 329-355, Summer.
    4. Wolf Wagner, 2010. "Divestment, Entrepreneurial Incentives, and the Life Cycle of the Firm," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(5-6), pages 591-611.
    5. Ehrhardt, Olaf & Lahr, Henry, 2008. "Uncertain private benefits and the decision to go public," CEFS Working Paper Series 2008-02, Technische Universität München (TUM), Center for Entrepreneurial and Financial Studies (CEFS).
    6. Wagner, W.B., 2002. "Divestment, Entrepreneurial Incentives and the Decision to go Public," Discussion Paper 2002-47, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    7. Tomáš Meluzín & Marek Zinecker, 2009. "Analyses of Partial Decision Models for IPO Realization," Ekonomika a Management, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2009(2).
    8. Mantecon, Tomas, 2008. "An analysis of the implications of uncertainty and agency problems on the wealth effects to acquirers of private firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 892-905, May.
    9. Reuer, Jeffrey J. & Shen, Jung-Chin, 2004. "Sequential divestiture through initial public offerings," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 249-266, June.
    10. Erik Lehmann & Thorsten Braun & Sebastian Krispin, 2012. "Entrepreneurial human capital, complementary assets, and takeover probability," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 37(5), pages 589-608, October.
    11. Tomas Mantecon & Paul Thistle, 2011. "The IPO market as a screening device and the going public decision: evidence from acquisitions of privately and publicly held firms," Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting, Springer, vol. 37(3), pages 325-361, October.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    IPOs; going public; seasoned offers; underpricing; adverse selection;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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