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Going public in interwar Britain1

  • David Chambers (a1)

Utilising a new sample of interwar initial public offerings (IPOs), I consider the effectiveness of the interwar stock market for firms going public. Consistent with the pecking order theory, IPO proceeds contributed only modestly to domestic industry's capital expenditure needs. IPOs of capital-hungry new manufacturing industries raised no more finance than did the rest of manufacturing. This was in part attributable to the detrimental effect of weak financial regulation on investor appetite for newer, riskier enterprises. In terms of the quality of firms allowed onto the market, IPO survival rates of the early and late 1920s were shockingly low, just as earlier research has shown. However, survival rates rebounded strongly in the following decade due not only to the economic recovery but also to tougher scrutiny of listing applications by the London Stock Exchange.

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Financial History Review
  • ISSN: 0968-5650
  • EISSN: 1474-0052
  • URL: /core/journals/financial-history-review
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