|Researchers:||Andrej Gill, Marius Liebald, Uwe Walz|
The main objective of the research project is to investigate the determinants of (de-)listing
decisions in historical Germany in the 1870-1933 period. Thereby, we aim to investigate to
which extent these decisions are driven by firm-specific factors and general trends or by
policy interventions and regulatory changes. In order to do so we will separately analyze the
going-public decisions and the going-private decisions which together in Germany in the
1870-1933 period (at that time one of financially most advanced economies) mimic very
much the corresponding dynamics in the US in the last decades (since the 1980s).
This research as highly relevant and topical not only because of these similar dynamics
(which are currently intensively discussed in the finance literature, see e.g. Doidge et al
(NBER, 2015)), but also due to the fact that these developments are an essential part of the
change of Germany from being a rather capital-market-oriented system (before WWII) to a
bank-dominated system after WW II (see e.g. Rajan/Zingales (JFE, 2003) on this). Another
decisive reason for looking at this time period is the fact that it is not only characterized by a
number of regulatory changes but also characterized by economic policy events (such as the
German hyperinflation 1922-23) which make the German case very outstanding.
For this purpose we will extend the SAFE historical market price data set by collecting
balance sheet data from the “Handbuch der deutschen Aktiengesellschaften“. This
handbook is available in hard copy and contains data on all German „Aktiengesellschaften“
at the time, including those listed on the main exchanges in Germany (most notably the
Berlin Stock exchange). Merging all these information together with the information on
listing and delisting decisions available from ‘’Berliner Zeitung’’ allows us to model and
empirically investigate the determinants of these decisions along the lines of the Cox
proportional hazard model employed in Gill/Walz (JCF, 2016).
Thereby, we aim to address the impact of regulatory changes in the 1890/1900s on the IPO
dynamics as well as investigate the impact of the German hyperinflation on these dynamics.
Thereby, we will address the specific question; “where all the IPOs have gone” as well as
more general one “why the German capital market lost its relevance and role in this