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date: 20 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

An initial public offering (IPO) is one of the most important events in the life cycle of a developing firm. The decision to “go public,” however, is complicated by the persistently cyclical market for public offerings. This chapter analyzes the macroeconomic determinants of IPO market cyclicality alongside the strategic and corporate governance considerations faced by private firms, arising from the costs and benefits of going public. The law and economics of the going-public decision also are relevant to the secular decline in IPOs since the turn of the millennium. This chapter evaluates several competing and complementary hypotheses that attempt to explain this phenomenon, each of which relies at least in part on the various features of the going-public decision-making process.

Keywords: initial public offering, IPO, firm, cyclicality, law, economics

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