Do Mandatory Disclosure Requirements for Private Firms Increase the Propensity of Going Public?
46 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2019 Last revised: 21 Nov 2019
Date Written: July 29, 2019
This paper investigates the effect of mandatory disclosure requirements for private firms on their decision to go public. Using detailed project-level data for biopharmaceutical firms, we explore the effects of a legal reform---the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act (FDAAA)---which exogenously required that firms publicly disclose information regarding clinical trials. Exploiting cross-sectional heterogeneity in firms' exposure to the regulation based on their internal development portfolios, we find that affected firms are significantly more likely to transition to public equity markets following the reform. We also find that firms that go public due to the increased disclosure requirements subsequently reduce the size of their project portfolios while shifting to safer investments acquired externally. The results suggest that private firms' general information environment and disclosure requirements influence the propensity of going public, and the nature of their subsequent project decisions.
Keywords: initial public offerings, mandatory disclosure, proprietary cost, innovation
JEL Classification: D82, G31, G32, G34, G38, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation