Relative to other countries, the US now has abnormally few listed firms given its level of economic development and the quality of its institutions. We call this the “US listing gap” and show that it is consistent with a decrease in the net benefit of a listing for US firms. We find that the propensity to be listed is lower than at the listing peak in 1996 for all firm size categories and industries. From 1997 to the end of our sample period in 2012, the new list rate is low and the delist rate is high compared to US history and to other countries. The high delist rate accounts for roughly 46 per cent of the listing gap and the low new list rate for 54 per cent. The high delist rate is explained by an unusually high rate of acquisitions of publicly-listed firms compared to previous US history and to other countries. We rule out alternative explanations for the listing gap, including industry changes, changes in listing requirements, and the reforms of the early 2000s.
René M. Stulz is the Everett D. Reese Chair of Banking and Monetary Economics and the Director of the Dice Center for Research in Financial Economics at The Ohio State University. He has also taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, and the University of Rochester. He received his PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was awarded a Marvin Bower Fellowship from the Harvard Business School, a Doctorat Honoris Causa from the University of Neuchâtel, and the Risk Manager Award of the Global Association of Risk Professionals. In 2004, the magazine Treasury and Risk Management named him one of the 100 most influential people in finance. A recent study found that he was the sixth most often cited contributor to the top journals in financial economics from 2003 to 2008. He is a past president of the American Finance Association and of the Western Finance Association, and a fellow of the American Finance Association, of the Financial Management Association, and of the European Corporate Governance Institute.
René M. Stulz was the editor of the Journal of Finance, the leading academic publication in the field of finance, for twelve years. He is on the editorial board of more than 10 academic and practitioner journals. Further, he is a member of the Asset Pricing and Corporate Finance Programs and the Director of the Risk of Financial Institutions Group of the National Bureau of Economic Research. He is also a member of the Squam Lake Group. He has published more than sixty papers in finance and economics journals, including the Journal of Political Economy, the Journal of Financial Economics, the Journal of Finance, and the Review of Financial Studies. He is the author of a textbook titledRisk Management and Derivatives, a co-author of theSquam Lake Report: Fixing the Financial System, and has edited several books, including theHandbook of the Economics of Finance.
René M. Stulz has taught in executive development programs in the US, Europe, and Asia. He has consulted for major corporations, law firms, the New York Stock Exchange, the IMF, and the World Bank. He is a director of Banque Bonhote, the president of the Gamma Foundation, and a trustee of the Global Association of Risk Professionals.