Moral Hazard, Asymmetric Information and IPO Lockups
36 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2007 Last revised: 16 Dec 2009
Date Written: September 12, 2006
Moral hazard and asymmetric information have both been proposed as the motive behind the use of IPO lockup provisions, with each receiving empirical support in the literature. Rather than consider them to be mutually exclusive motivations, we hypothesize that each is dominant for a different set of firms. We provide novel empirical support for the underwriter certification hypothesis then use this hypothesis to categorize the firms in our sample. Firms that are certified by a reputable underwriter see a reduction in the severity of asymmetric information relative to other firms and therefore will be more likely to see moral hazard as the friction that motivates the use of the lockup provision. For those firms that are unable to obtain high reputation underwriter certification it is relatively more likely that asymmetric information is the motivation for the use of the lockup provision. Based on this separation of firms we introduce and provide empirical support for a novel set of hypotheses concerning the lockup period.
Keywords: IPO, Lockup, Underwriter Quality, Asymmetric Information
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