Does Prospect Theory Explain IPO Market Behavior?
New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)
William J. Wilhelm
University of Virginia - McIntire School of Commerce
NYU Working Paper No. FIN-04-006
We derive a behavioral measure of the IPO decision-maker s satisfaction with the underwriter s performance based on Loughran and Ritter s (2002) application of prospect theory to IPO underpricing. We assess the plausibility of this measure by studying its power to explain the decision-maker s subsequent choices. Controlling for other known factors, IPO firms are less likely to switch underwriters for their first seasoned equity offering when our behavioral measureindicates they were satisfied with the IPO underwriter s performance. Underwriters also appear to benefit from behavioral biases in the sense that they extract higher fees for subsequent transactions involving satisfied decision-makers. Although our tests suggest there is explanatory power in the behavioral model, they do not speak directly to whether deviations from expected utility maximization determine patterns in IPO initial returns.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: Prospect theory, Behavioral finance, Initial public offerings, Underpricing
Date posted: November 3, 2008