Does Shareholder Litigation Risk Cause Public Firms to Delist? Evidence From Securities Class Action Lawsuits
58 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2020 Last revised: 13 Aug 2021
Date Written: August 12, 2021
This paper examines whether shareholder litigation contributes to the decline in the number of U.S. stock market listings. We find that higher litigation risk induces firms to delist. We establish causality using two exogenous shocks to ex-ante litigation risk, including federal judge ideology and an influential judicial precedent. We find that the effect is at least partially driven by indirect costs of litigation and that being private can significantly reduce the threat of litigation. The results suggest that mitigating excessive litigation costs for public firms is crucial to ensure the continued vibrancy of the U.S. stock market.
Keywords: Shareholder litigation, Securities class action lawsuit, Stock market listing, Delisting
JEL Classification: D04, D22, G30, K22
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation