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Information production and bidding in IPOs: An experimental analysis of auctions and fixed-price offerings

Listed author(s):
  • Trauten, Andreas
  • Langer, Thomas
Registered author(s):

    Despite their theoretical efficiency in selling shares to the public, auctions are not the preferred mechanisms of issuers in Initial Public Offerings (IPOs). Chemmanur and Liu (2006) [WP] and Sherman (2005) [JFE 78, 615-649] provide a rational explanation for this IPO auction puzzle. They argue that issuers are not only interested in maximizing the offering proceeds, but also care about the secondary market price and thus try to induce many investors to produce information about the IPO. In fixed-price or bookbuilding offerings the issuer might opt to set an offering price that suggests underpricing in order to compensate investors for producing costly information. In auctions, however, competitive bidding impedes underpricing, which in turn lowers the incentive to produce information about the IPO in the first place. In this paper, we report an experimental study that was set up to test the mechanisms underlying this reasoning. Our findings strongly support the theoretical argument. In fixed-price offerings, the issuer can maintain investors' propensity to produce information by appropriately adjusting the offering price even if information costs are high. In auctions, however, high information costs inevitably result in a low propensity to produce information. This is a consequence of investors' competitive bidding behavior which prevents them from recovering the costs of information production. Our results provide experimental support for the theoretical argument that an auction is not the preferable offering mechanism for young and risky IPO firms since the costs of producing information about such firms are high, but there is also a strong need to generate information.

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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/46599/1/584626029.pdf
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    Paper provided by University of Münster, Competence Center Internet Economy and Hybrid Systems, European Research Center for Information Systems (ERCIS) in its series Working Papers with number 50.

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    Date of creation: 2007
    Handle: RePEc:zbw:cciehs:50
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    1. Krigman, Laurie & Shaw, Wayne H. & Womack, Kent L., 2001. "Why do firms switch underwriters?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2-3), pages 245-284, May.
    2. Ravi Jagannathan & Ann E. Sherman, 2006. "Why Do IPO Auctions Fail?," NBER Working Papers 12151, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sherman, Ann E., 2005. "Global trends in IPO methods: Book building versus auctions with endogenous entry," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(3), pages 615-649, December.
    4. Aggarwal, Rajesh K. & Krigman, Laurie & Womack, Kent L., 2002. "Strategic IPO underpricing, information momentum, and lockup expiration selling," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 105-137, October.
    5. Ye Lixin, 2004. "Optimal Auctions with Endogenous Entry," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-29, October.
    6. Chemmanur, Thomas J, 1993. " The Pricing of Initial Public Offerings: A Dynamic Model with Information Production," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 285-304, March.
    7. William Vickrey, 1961. "Counterspeculation, Auctions, And Competitive Sealed Tenders," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 16(1), pages 8-37, March.
    8. Demers, Elizabeth & Lewellen, Katharina, 2003. "The marketing role of IPOs: evidence from internet stocks," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 413-437, June.
    9. David Easley & Maureen O'hara, 2004. "Information and the Cost of Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1553-1583, August.
    10. Campbell, Colin M. & Levin, Dan, 2000. "Can the Seller Benefit from an Insider in Common-Value Auctions?," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 106-120, March.
    11. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    12. Dan Lovallo & Colin Camerer, 1999. "Overconfidence and Excess Entry: An Experimental Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 306-318, March.
    13. James Cox & Sam Dinkin & James Swarthout, 2001. "Endogenous Entry and Exit in Common Value Auctions," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 4(2), pages 163-181, October.
    14. Kagel, John H & Levin, Dan & Harstad, Ronald M, 1995. "Comparative Static Effects of Number of Bidders and Public Information on Behavior in Second-Price Common Value Auctions," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer;Game Theory Society, vol. 24(3), pages 293-319.
    15. Francois Degeorge & Francois Derrien & Kent L. Womack, 2007. "Analyst Hype in IPOs: Explaining the Popularity of Bookbuilding," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 20(4), pages 1021-1058.
    16. John C. Ham & John H. Kagel & Steven F. Lehrer, 2000. "Randomization, Endogeneity and Laboratory Experiments," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1524, Econometric Society.
    17. Levin, Dan & Smith, James L, 1994. "Equilibrium in Auctions with Entry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 585-599, June.
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