Initial Public Offerings at the Berlin Stock Exchange, 1871-1938



We perform the first long-run analysis of Initial Public Offerings (IPOs) made at the Berlin Stock Exchange between 1870 and 1938. More than 1,000 firms went public during this period, most of them from the industrial sector. About 85 percent of the newly listed firms survived for at least five years. Only during the early 1870s and early 1920s, we do observe higher failure rates, but this is not due to ‘hot markets’. Moreover, IPOs from the early 1870s display weak stock market returns. Changes in securities market regulation improved survival chances, whereas reputation of underwriters has been insignificant.

The Business History Seminar is organised by the Business History Centre and has been made possible by financial support from the Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM) and the Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication