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The Reality of IPO Performance: An Empirical Study of Venture-Backed Public Companies


  • Yochanan Shachmurove

    () (The City College of The City University of New York and the University of Pennsylvania)


The incredible profits of Initial Public Offerings have often been emphasized in the media as a popular investment for the public. This paper takes a few steps towards refuting such an assertion by investigating the performance of 2,895 venture capital backed IPOs between 1968 and September 1998. The paper finds that it is incorrect to assume that investors demand very high annualized and cumulative rates of return to compensate for the risks they are taking by financing ventures in different sectors of the economy. The mean rates of return are found to be, in practice, very moderate, and often, negative.

Suggested Citation

  • Yochanan Shachmurove, 2004. "The Reality of IPO Performance: An Empirical Study of Venture-Backed Public Companies," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-030, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:04-030

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mansfield, Edwin, 1983. "Technological Change and Market Structure: An Empirical Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 205-209, May.
    2. Mansfield, Edwin, 1969. "Industrial Research and Development: Characteristics, Costs, and Diffusion of Results," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 65-71, May.
    3. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
    4. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "Conflict of Interest in the Issuance of Public Securities: Evidence from Venture Capital," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 42(1), pages 1-28, April.
    5. Mansfield, Edwin, 1986. "The R&D Tax Credit and Other Technology Policy Issues," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(2), pages 190-194, May.
    6. Gompers, Paul A., 1996. "Grandstanding in the venture capital industry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 133-156, September.
    7. Yochanan Shachmurove, 2001. "Annualized Returns of Venture-Backed Public Companies Categorized by Stage of Financing: An Empirical Investigation of IPOS in the Last Three Decades," Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, Pepperdine University, Graziadio School of Business and Management, vol. 6(1), pages 44-58, Spring.
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    More about this item


    Initial public offering; venture capita; annualized and cumulative rates of return; Information Technology; Medical; Health and Life Science; Non-High Technology; Biotechnology; Communications; Computer Industry; Semiconductor and Other Electronics Industries;

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D92 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • G12 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Asset Pricing; Trading Volume; Bond Interest Rates
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • M21 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics - - - Business Economics
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • O3 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights

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