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Is the VC Partnership Greater than the Sum of its Partners?

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  • Michael Ewens
  • Matthew Rhodes-Kropf

Abstract

Venture capital firms’ ability to repeatedly make top performing investments suggests the importance of some aspect of organizational or human capital. However, it is an unanswered question as to what extent the important attributes of performance are a part of the firm’s organizational capital or embodied in the human capital of the people inside the firm. We examine the performance at the partner-investment level to determine the extent of persistence in individual partners’ ability to IPO, achieve outsized exits or fail, and to what extent that performance is attributable to the firm or the partner. Shedding light on the sources of performance in venture capital firms will help us make progress on a fundamental question in economics as to whether a firm is more than the sum of its parts.

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Paper provided by Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business in its series GSIA Working Papers with number 2012-E36.

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Handle: RePEc:cmu:gsiawp:-1518590595

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Postal: Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
Web page: http://www.tepper.cmu.edu/

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  1. Gompers, Paul & Kovner, Anna & Lerner, Josh & Scharfstein, David, 2010. "Performance persistence in entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 18-32, April.
  2. Thomas Cornelissen, 2008. "The Stata command felsdvreg to fit a linear model with two high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 170-189, June.
  3. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wong, 2005. "Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices? The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 11136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Paul Gompers & Anna Kovner & Josh Lerner, 2009. "Specialization and Success: Evidence from Venture Capital," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(3), pages 817-844, 09.
  5. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
  6. John R. Graham & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2011. "Managerial Attributes and Executive Compensation," NBER Working Papers 17368, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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