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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Akademie Verlag June 21, 2018

The Rise and Fall of the German IPO Market, 1870-1938

Carsten Burhop, David Chambers and Brian Cheffins


This study of over 1,000 initial public offerings (IPOs) on the Berlin stock exchange from German unification to the eve of World War II draws attention to the importance of regulation and deepens our understanding of German stock market development. An increasingly exacting regulatory environment from the early 1880s to 1914 made a vital contribution to the higher likelihood of firms going public surviving. In the inhospitable regulatory setting of the 1930s, IPO activity drew to a halt and the development in the German stock market over the preceding decades reversed. As a complement to our analysis of the impact of regulation, we document the increased involvement of leading universal banks (D-banks) in the IPO market over the whole period.

JEL Classification: N 23; N 24; G 18; G 24; K 22


We would like to thank Caroline Fohlin, Leslie Hannah, Martin Gelter, Sibylle Lehmann-Hasemeyer, Larry Neal, Jan Otmar-Hesse, Mark Roe, and Felix Selgert for their comments on an earlier version of this paper, as well as seminar participants at the University of Belfast, the Rotterdam School of Management and the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn. Financial support by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (grant no. BU 1805/7-2) is gratefully acknowledged. This paper was prepared while Cheffins was a Keynes Fellow and while Chambers was Academic Director of the Newton Centre for Endowment Asset Management, Judge Business School, and a Keynes Fellow.

Published Online: 2018-06-21
Published in Print: 2018-05-25

© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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