We develop an explanation for IPO underpricing in which the issuer's demand for ownership dispersion creates an incentive to underprice. Promoting oversubscription allows broad initial ownership, which in turn increases secondary-market liquidity. Increased liquidity reduces the required return to investors. Broad initial ownership, however, requires an increase in investor-borne information costs. These information costs are offset through initial underpricing. Empirical results are consistent with initial underpricing reflecting the level of ownership dispersion.
Journal of Financial Economics – elsevier
Published: Jun 1, 1996
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