Is Underpricing an Appropriate Proxy for Studying IPO Certification?

  •  Mike Hopkins    
  •  Donald Ross    


The dominant technique used to evidence certification effects at IPO is to employ the degree of underpricing as a proxy for certification. We investigate the appropriateness of this proxy in the context of private equity backed IPOs. Our results reveal an incongruence between certification by the vendor and expectations of underpricing. We also find expectations of underpricing are driven by reduced informational asymmetries between the vendor and the vendor’s broker rather than between the vendor and the market. Our conclusion is that underpricing is too noisy a variable to be a reliable proxy for certification in this context.

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