NBER Publications by Ann E. Sherman

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Working Papers and Chapters

July 2010Why Don't Issuers Choose IPO Auctions? The Complexity of Indirect Mechanisms
with Ravi Jagannathan, Andrei Jirnyi: w16214
In this paper we present a comprehensive comparison of IPO placement methods in over 50 countries. We find that out of the three primary methods, fixed price public offers, auctions, and book building, auctions are least popular with issuers. Since auctions allow for price discovery while avoiding the potential conflict of interest between issuer and underwriter, this is a surprising finding that is not adequately explained in the existing literature. We propose a new explanation: namely, that participating in auctions is substantially more difficult for investors compared to the other methods, and that this complexity can lead to investor behavior that is undesirable for the issuer. We suggest that this effect could be mitigated through a hybrid mechanism that resembles the one that is us...
April 2006Why Do IPO Auctions Fail?
with Ravi Jagannathan: w12151
We document a somewhat surprising regularity: of the many countries that have used IPO auctions, virtually all have abandoned them. The common explanations given for the lack of popularity of the auction method in the US, viz., issuer reluctance to try a new experimental method, and underwriter pressure towards methods that lead to higher fees, do not fit the evidence. We examine why auctions have failed and verify, to the extent possible, that they are consistent with what academic theory predicts. Both uniform price and discriminatory auctions are plagued by unexpectedly large fluctuations in the number of participants. The free rider problem and the winner's curse hamper price discovery and discourage investors from participating in auctions. Calculating the optimal bids in large ...
July 2000Building the IPO Order Book: Underpricing and Participation Limits With Costly Information
with Sheridan Titman: w7786
This paper examines the book building mechanism for marketing initial public offerings. We present a model where the underwriter selects a group of investors along with a pricing and allocation mechanism in a way that maximizes the information generated during the process of going public at a minimum cost. Unlike previous models, we take into account the moral hazard problem that is faced by investors when evaluation is costly. Our results suggest that for firms with the most to gain from accurate pricing, the number of investors participating in the offering is larger, and underpricing will be greater. When the demand for accuracy is relatively low, the expected amount of underpricing exactly offsets the investors' costs of acquiring information. However, when the demand for accuracy i...

Published: Sherman, Ann E. and Sheridan Titman. "Building The IPO Order Book: Underpricing And Participation Limits With Costly Information," Journal of Financial Economics, 2002, v65(1,Jul), 3-29. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers onlyInformation about this author at RePEc

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