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The Overpricing Problem: Moral Hazard and Franchises


  • Eckert, Heather

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • van Egteren, Henry

    () (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)

  • Hannweber, Troy

    (University of Alberta, Department of Economics)


We hypothesize that moral hazard is an important factor in explaining the under performance of firms, identified by Ritter (1991), following initial public offerings (IPOs). We test this hypothesis by comparing post-IPO returns of franchised and non-franchised firms. Franchised IPOs, whose franchise agreements mitigate the moral hazard problems that arise from the dilution of ownership following an IPO, outperform their non-franchised, matched counterpart IPOs over five years in the aftermarket.

Suggested Citation

  • Eckert, Heather & van Egteren, Henry & Hannweber, Troy, 2012. "The Overpricing Problem: Moral Hazard and Franchises," Working Papers 2012-2, University of Alberta, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:albaec:2012_002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alexander Ljungqvist & Vikram Nanda & Rajdeep Singh, 2006. "Hot Markets, Investor Sentiment, and IPO Pricing," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1667-1702, July.
    2. Lee, Philip J. & Taylor, Stephen L. & Walter, Terry S., 1996. "Australian IPO pricing in the short and long run," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(7), pages 1189-1210, August.
    3. Harrison Hong & Jeremy C. Stein, 1999. "A Unified Theory of Underreaction, Momentum Trading, and Overreaction in Asset Markets," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 54(6), pages 2143-2184, December.
    4. Eckbo, B. Espen & Norli, Oyvind, 2005. "Liquidity risk, leverage and long-run IPO returns," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 1-35, March.
    5. Francine Lafontaine, 1992. "Agency Theory and Franchising: Some Empirical Results," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 23(2), pages 263-283, Summer.
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    More about this item


    IPO; moral hazard; overpricing; franchises;

    JEL classification:

    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles
    • G14 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Information and Market Efficiency; Event Studies; Insider Trading

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