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Taking firms to the stock market: IPOs and the importance of large banks in Imperial Germany 1896 - 1913

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  • Lehmann, Sibylle H.

Abstract

Large universal banks played a major role for Germany's industrialisation because they provided loans to the industry and thereby helped firms to overcome liquidity constraints. Previous research has also argued that they were equally important on the German stock market. The present paper provides quantitative and qualitative evidence that although the market for underwriters was dominated by a small oligopoly of six large banks, there was still perceptible competition, which kept fees and short run profits low. Another interesting finding of the paper is the absence of a signalling effect to investors. Neither underpricing nor the one year performance was different for the IPOs issued by one of the Big Six. Thus, although the German IPO business was in the hands of a small oligopoly, investors did not benefit from the lack of competition. One explanation is that the quality of IPOs on the German stock market of the time was very good in general caused by the competition between underwriters, but also by the tight regulation of underwriting, which ensured the quality of all firms on the German stock market.

Suggested Citation

  • Lehmann, Sibylle H., 2012. "Taking firms to the stock market: IPOs and the importance of large banks in Imperial Germany 1896 - 1913," FZID Discussion Papers 58-2012, University of Hohenheim, Center for Research on Innovation and Services (FZID).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:fziddp:582012
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Guinnane, Timothy & Harris, Ron & Lamoreaux, Naomi R. & Rosenthal, Jean-Laurent, 2007. "Putting the Corporation in its Place," Enterprise & Society, Cambridge University Press, pages 687-729.
    2. David Chambers & Elroy Dimson, 2009. "IPO Underpricing over the Very Long Run," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 64(3), pages 1407-1443, June.
    3. Gelman, Sergey & Burhop, Carsten, 2008. "Taxation, regulation and the information efficiency of the Berlin stock exchange, 1892–1913," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(01), pages 39-66, April.
    4. Fremdling, Rainer & Tilly, Richard, 1976. "German Banks, German Growth, and Econometric History," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 36(02), pages 416-424, June.
    5. Michaely, Roni & Shaw, Wayne H, 1994. "The Pricing of Initial Public Offerings: Tests of Adverse-Selection and Signaling Theories," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 7(2), pages 279-319.
    6. Allen, Franklin & Faulhaber, Gerald R., 1989. "Signalling by underpricing in the IPO market," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 303-323, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Opitz, Alexander, 2015. "Democratic prospects in Imperial Russia: The revolution of 1905 and the political stock market," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 15-2015, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    2. Sebastian A.J. Keibek, 2016. "Using probate data to determine historical male occupational structures," Working Papers 26, Department of Economic and Social History at the University of Cambridge, revised 21 Mar 2017.
    3. Leandro Prados de la Escosura, 2015. "World Human Development: 1870–2007," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 61(2), pages 220-247, June.
    4. Lehmann-Hasemeyer, Sibylle H. & Wahl, Fabian, 2017. "Savings banks and the industrial revolution in Prussia: Supporting regional development with public financial institutions," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 18-2017, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    5. Sibylle Lehmann-Hasemeyer & Jochen Streb, 2016. "The Berlin Stock Exchange in Imperial Germany: A Market for New Technology?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(11), pages 3558-3576, November.
    6. Lehmann, Sibylle & Streb, Jochen, 2015. "The Berlin Stock Exchange in Imperial Germany – a Market for New Technology?," CEPR Discussion Papers 10558, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Lehmann-Hasemeyer, Sibylle & Streb, Jochen, 2017. "Does Social Security crowd out Private Savings? The Case of Bismarck’s System of Social Insurance," IBF Paper Series 06-17, IBF – Institut für Bank- und Finanzgeschichte / Institute for Banking and Financial History, Frankfurt am Main.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Financial History; Universal Banks; IPOs;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • N23 - Economic History - - Financial Markets and Institutions - - - Europe: Pre-1913

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