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ABSTRACT

We focus on public-market investor participation to analyze the firm's decision to stay public or go private. The liquidity of public ownership is both a blessing and a curse: It lowers the cost of capital, but also introduces volatility in a firm's shareholder base, exposing management to uncertainty regarding shareholder intervention in management decisions, thereby affecting the manager's perceived decision-making autonomy and curtailing managerial inputs. We extract predictions about how investor participation affects stock price level and volatility and the public firm's incentives to go private, providing a link between investor participation and firm participation in public markets.