Are Public Equity Markets Declining in Importance?
8 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 29, 2014
At the October 2013 Financial Management Association meetings, the Journal of Applied Finance sponsored a panel session on the outlook for public equity markets. Among the motivations for the session were the recent decline in IPO (initial public offering) activity and the number of publicly traded companies, and also the increase in institutional ownership of equity and the increase in off-market trading. The broad question we pose is whether these are transitory changes or reflective of a secular decline in the importance of public equity. This introduction provides context for the central question that was posed to the panel. The transcript of the discussion by panel members (published separately in this issue) offers perspectives related to the reasons for the shifts and the outlook for public equity. The panelists are Brad Barber (University of California, Davis), Steven Kaplan University of Chicago), Christian Leuz (University of Chicago), and Jay Ritter (University of Florida). Richard Smith (University of California, Riverside) and Joshua Rosett (Claremont McKenna College) moderated. The discussion sheds light on a number of research questions that are potentially important to the functioning of public and private capital markets, regulators, and practitioners.
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