The Impact of IPOs on Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms

39 Pages Posted: 17 Dec 2018 Last revised: 28 Feb 2019

See all articles by Maxime Cohen

Maxime Cohen

McGill University

Kevin Jiao

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Date Written: November 1, 2018


Peer-to-peer lending platforms have become commonplace for individuals and small firms interested in borrowing capital. Our analysis is based on two large peer-to-peer lending online platforms, which we refer to as P_1 and P_2. We are facing an interesting situation where P_1 went public by filing an initial public offering (IPO), while P_2 remained privately held. Using large loans data from both platforms, we exploit this empirical environment to carefully infer the impact of IPOs on peer-to-peer lending platforms. Did P_1 alter its decisions by accepting different types of loans or by softening its requirements? Or, on the contrary, did its decisions become stricter given the increased level of scrutiny? To answer these questions, we use several econometric tools, including sample selection bias correction, propensity score matching, and synthetic control. We present rigorous empirical analyses at four time events: first IPO rumor, filing date, actual IPO, and quarterly report release. We find that several performance metrics were indeed affected by the IPO filing. Specifically, we observe that (i) the loans' performance (default rate and return) decreased, (ii) borrowers' requirements (credit score and annual income) diminished, and (iii) the acceptance rate inflated.

Keywords: Peer-to-peer lending, initial public offering, synthetic control

Suggested Citation

Cohen, Maxime and Jiao, Kevin, The Impact of IPOs on Peer-to-Peer Lending Platforms (November 1, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Maxime Cohen (Contact Author)

McGill University ( email )

1001 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 1G5

Kevin Jiao

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 W. 4th St
Suite 9-160
New York, NY 10012
United States

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