We are entering a new economic era where the whole purpose of capitalism and the raison d’être of business are being debated. A lot of the recent focus has been on ESG and the part companies should play in achieving ESG aims, such as a net-zero-carbon economy. In other words, some “stakeholders” believe businesses should not exist simply to generate profits, but expect them to contribute to broader goals. One social goal that truly has the ability to impact social mobility and gets the attention of governments is the generation of jobs, and especially well-paid jobs.
So, the simple question is this: do companies that go public generate jobs, or is an IPO simply an opportunity for management and existing shareholders to cash in?
The question is particularly pertinent for small- and mid-cap companies, often described as the “engine of growth’”. This is a question about which nobody seems to have collected the data, let alone published research, at least in the UK. This paper has been written with the assistance of the Quoted Companies Alliance (QCA), and seeks to address that deficiency.