This paper investigates the consequences of the decision to go public for the growth of Italian firms using US firms as a benchmark for comparison. We find Italian firms conducting IPOs are larger than US firms, but raise fewer funds from the IPO and grow more slowly afterwards. We also compare Italian IPOs across time. Firms going public in the 1990s display features that are more similar to US IPOs. We describe changes to the Italian economy and financial markets that are potentially responsible for the change. We compare firms of different size and with different governance structures, and we find that they behave differently after going public. Our results suggest that going public does not guarantee faster growth or more jobs. As such, public policies that simply increase access to equity markets may not be effective unless they provide incentives for the firms’ decision-makers to use the new capital to grow.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 21, 2005
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