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date: 24 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

A complex set of regulations is intended to guide and control the capital markets and the equity initial public offering (IPO) process, with the goal of creating efficient markets for equity capital and investor protection. Often in response to market innovations, regulators impose new, and reinterpret existing, regulations. This chapter documents key US securities regulations over the past two decades that have affected the IPO process. While motivated by good intentions, many of these regulations have led to burdens on issuing firms and have had deleterious effects on US capital markets. The authors posit that these effects are driven by the burdens placed on firms, the incentives of firms to pursue alternatives to an IPO, the disincentives for banks to conduct IPOs, and the attractiveness of more profitable (and less regulated) alternative activities available to banks. This suggests questions for IPO researchers concerning the effects of such regulations.

Keywords: initial public offering, IPO, securities regulation, capital, bank, investor

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