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Specialization and Success: Evidence from Venture Capital

In: Entrepreneurship: Strategy and Structure

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  • Paul Gompers
  • Anna Kovner
  • Josh Lerner

Abstract

"This paper examines how organizational structure affects behavior and outcomes, studying the performance of different types of venture capital organizations. We find a strong positive relationship between the degree of specialization by individual venture capitalists at a firm and its success. When the individual investment professionals are highly specialized themselves, the marginal effect of increasing overall firm specialization is much weaker. The poorer performance by generalists appears to be due to both an inefficient allocation of funding across industries and poor selection of investments within industries. Venture capital organizations with more experience tend to outperform those with less experience." Copyright (c) 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc..

(This abstract was borrowed from another version of this item.)

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This chapter was published in:

  • Thomas Hellman & Scott Stern, 2009. "Entrepreneurship: Strategy and Structure," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number hell07-1, octubre-d.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 3048.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:3048

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    References

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    1. Masako Ueda, 2004. "Banks versus Venture Capital: Project Evaluation, Screening, and Expropriation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 601-621, 04.
    2. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
    3. Fama, Eugene F, 1980. "Agency Problems and the Theory of the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 288-307, April.
    4. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2000. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," NBER Working Papers 7660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Steven N. Kaplan & Antoinette Schoar, 2005. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence, and Capital Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1791-1823, 08.
    6. Abhijit Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 1999. "Reputation Effects and the Limits of Contracting: A Study of the Indian Software Industry," Working papers 99-14, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. Yosha Oved, 1995. "Information Disclosure Costs and the Choice of Financing Source," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 3-20, January.
    8. Joshua Lerner, 1994. "The Syndication of Venture Capital Investments," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 23(3), Fall.
    9. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-18, March.
    10. Kaplan, Steven & Strömberg, Per Johan, 2002. "Characteristics, Contracts and Actions: Evidence from Venture Capitalist Analyses," CEPR Discussion Papers 3243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Baker, Malcolm & Gompers, Paul A, 2003. "The Determinants of Board Structure at the Initial Public Offering," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 46(2), pages 569-98, October.
    12. Bhattacharya Sudipto & Chiesa Gabriella, 1995. "Proprietary Information, Financial Intermediation, and Research Incentives," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 328-357, October.
    13. Zsuzsanna Fluck & Kedran Garrison & Stewart C. Myers, 2005. "Venture Capital Contracting and Syndication: An Experiment in Computational Corporate Finance," NBER Working Papers 11624, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. David H. Hsu, 2004. "What Do Entrepreneurs Pay for Venture Capital Affiliation?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(4), pages 1805-1844, 08.
    15. Lin, Timothy H. & Smith, Richard L., 1998. "Insider reputation and selling decisions: the unwinding of venture capital investments during equity IPOs," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 241-263, September.
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