Sabrina T. Howell
NYU Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
NBER Program Affiliations:
NBER Affiliation: Faculty Research Fellow
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2018||Initial Coin Offerings: Financing Growth with Cryptocurrency Token Sales|
with Marina Niessner, David Yermack: w24774
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) are sales of blockchain-based digital tokens associated with specific platforms or assets. Since 2014 ICOs have emerged as a new financing instrument, with some parallels to IPOs, venture capital, and pre-sale crowdfunding. We examine the relationship between issuer characteristics and measures of success, with a focus on liquidity, using 453 ICOs that collectively raise $5.7 billion. We also employ propriety transaction data in a case study of Filecoin, one of the most successful ICOs. We find that liquidity and trading volume are higher when issuers offer voluntary disclosure, credibly commit to the project, and signal quality.
|May 2018||Listing Delays and Innovation: Evidence from Chinese IPOs|
with Lin William Cong: w24657
Regulators have suspended IPOs in China on numerous occasions, exposing firms already approved to IPO to indeterminate listing delay. These disruptions curtail firms’ timely access to risk capital and increase uncertainty. After firms ultimately list, suspension-induced delay substantially reduces their innovation activity, measured using patent quantity and quality. These effects begin during the delay and endure for years after listing, while impacts on other firm outcomes are short-lived. The corporate innovation process, like an individual’s accumulation of human capital, has a cumulative dimension. Interrupting it can be detrimental in the long term, highlighting the importance of well-functioning IPO markets.
|September 2017||Are New Venture Competitions Useful?|
This paper uses administrative data from 87 new venture competitions in 17 U.S. states to show that winning has large, positive effects on measures of subsequent venture success, including employment and financing. While cash prizes are valuable, especially for founders who are likely financially constrained, winning is independently useful. Certification may be one mechanism, but it does not seem to be the primary one. An alternative is that competitions help entrepreneurs learn about their projects’ quality. Receiving negative feedback is shown to increase venture abandonment, suggesting that competitions are useful in part because they facilitate faster type revelation.