Joan Farre-Mensa is an Assistant Professor of Business Administration in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit, where he teaches the Entrepreneurial Manager course in the MBA required curriculum. His research is situated at the intersection of entrepreneurial and corporate finance, with a particular focus on understanding how a firm’s listing status affects its financing environment and its real and financial policies.
Joan’s research is motivated by a number of important empirical facts. The number of listed firms in the U.S. has more than halved since 1997, driven by a marked decline in small-firm IPOs. This trend has raised considerable concern among commentators and policymakers. Implicit behind these worries is the assumption that entrepreneurs that want to go public are being held back by regulatory overreach or frictions in the capital markets that prevent them from taking their companies to the next level. Yet despite these concerns, there is relatively little academic research on the differences between public and private firms and the trade-offs associated with a public listing.
Joan’s goal is to help fill this major void in the literature. In particular, his work has identified two important advantages of being a privately held firm: private firms face no restrictions in their ability to disclose confidential information to selected investors and their investment decisions are not distorted by investors' pressures to deliver short-term results. By contrast, perhaps the most salient benefit of being a public company is that a stock market listing allows firms to sell their shares to the general public, thus giving public firms access to a deep pool of relatively low cost equity capital. Some of Joan's most recent work aims to explore this benefit, and in particular the extent to which being public eases firms’ financial constraints.
Joan earned his Ph.D. in economics at New York University. His earlier education was in his native Spain: he holds an M.Phil. in economics from Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Universitat de Barcelona.