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Government Sponsored versus Private Venture Capital: Canadian Evidence

In: International Differences in Entrepreneurship

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  • James A. Brander
  • Edward Egan
  • Thomas F. Hellmann

Abstract

This paper investigates the relative performance of enterprises backed by government-sponsored venture capitalists and private venture capitalists. While previous studies focus mainly on investor returns, this paper focuses on a broader set of public policy objectives, including value-creation, innovation, and competition. A number of novel data-collection methods, including web-crawlers, are used to assemble a near-comprehensive data set of Canadian venture-capital backed enterprises. The results indicate that enterprises financed by government-sponsored venture capitalists underperform on a variety of criteria, including value-creation, as measured by the likelihood and size of IPOs and M&As, and innovation, as measured by patents. It is important to understand whether such underperformance arises from a selection effect in which private venture capitalists have a higher quality threshold for investment than subsidized venture capitalists, or whether it arises from a treatment effect in which subsidized venture capitalists crowd out private investment and, in addition, provide less effective mentoring and other value-added skills. We find suggestive evidence that crowding out and less effective treatment are problems associated with government-backed venture capital. While the data does not allow for a definitive welfare analysis, the results cast some doubt on the desirability of certain government interventions in the venture capital market.

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This chapter was published in:

  • Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar, 2010. "International Differences in Entrepreneurship," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lern08-2.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8226.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8226

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    Cited by:
    1. Bertoni, Fabio & Tykvová, Tereza, 2012. "Which form of venture capital is most supportive of innovation?," ZEW Discussion Papers 12-018, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
    2. Bertoni, Fabio & Colombo, Massimo G. & Grilli, Luca, 2011. "Venture capital financing and the growth of high-tech start-ups: Disentangling treatment from selection effects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 40(7), pages 1028-1043, September.
    3. Da Rin, M. & Hellmann, T. & Puri, M.L., 2011. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Discussion Paper 2011-044, Tilburg University, Tilburg Law and Economic Center.
    4. Luukkonen, Terttu & Deschryvere, Matthias & Bertoni, Fabio & Nikulainen, Tuomo, 2011. "Importance of the Non-financial Value Added of Government and Independent Venture Capitalists," Discussion Papers 1257, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    5. Cécile Carpentier & Douglas Cumming & Jean-Marc Suret, 2010. "The Valuation Effect of Listing Requirements: An Analysis of Venture Capital-Backed IPOs," CIRANO Working Papers 2010s-01, CIRANO.
    6. Inci, Eren & Barlo, Mehmet, 2010. "Banks versus venture capital when the venture capitalist values private benefits of control," MPRA Paper 25566, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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