The Valuator's Curse or the Entrepreneur's Boon: Decision Analysis of Post-IPO-Launch Disappointment
22 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 15, 2018
Evidence from IPOs show that the initial valuations of entrepreneurial ventures tend to be overvalued (Fisher 2014). One common explanation is irrationality on the part of the entrepreneur characterized by overconfidence (Galasso and Simcoe 2011). We provide a different, rational explanation which we term the valuator's curse. It is similar in nature to the winner's curse in auctions (Thaler 1988) and the optimizer's curse in decision analysis (Smith and Winkler 2006), but the source of the curse is neither from the competitive effects of an auction-type mechanism nor from the optimization effects in a choice among alternatives. Rather the effect is generated in the evaluation itself, even though the inputs to the evaluation are unbiased. We provide general conditions which result in the valuator's curse, show that they weakly persist in a Bayesian setting, and suggest several approaches to mitigate the effect.
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