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What are Firms? Evolution from Birth to Public Companies

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  • Kaplan, Steven
  • Sensoy, Berk A.
  • Strömberg, Per Johan

Abstract

We study how firm characteristics evolve from early business plan, to initial public offering, to public company for 49 venture capital financed companies. The average time elapsed is almost six years. We describe the financial performance, business idea, point(s) of differentiation, non-human capital assets, growth strategy, customers, competitors, alliances, top management, ownership structure, and the board of directors. Our analysis focuses on the nature and stability of those firm attributes. Firm business lines remain remarkably stable from business plan through public company. Within those business lines, non-human capital aspects of the businesses appear more stable than human capital aspects. In the cross-section, firms with more alienable assets have substantially more human capital turnover.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5224.

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Date of creation: Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5224

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Keywords: entrepreneurship; theory of the firm; venture capital;

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References

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  1. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  2. Stein, Jeremy C. & Dewatripont, Mathias & Aghion, Philippe, 2008. "Academic Freedom, Private-Sector Focus, and the Process of Innovation," Scholarly Articles 3637074, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  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. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  6. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 2000. "The Firm as a Dedicated Hierarchy: A Theory of the Origin and Growth of Firms," NBER Working Papers 7546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Jeremy C. Stein, 2008. "Academic freedom, private-sector focus, and the process of innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 39(3), pages 617-635.
  8. Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  9. Bengt Holmstrom & John Roberts, 1998. "The Boundaries of the Firm Revisited," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 73-94, Fall.
  10. Holmstrom, Bengt, 1999. "The Firm as a Subeconomy," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 15(1), pages 74-102, April.
  11. Raghuram G. Rajan & Luigi Zingales, 1998. "Power In A Theory Of The Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 387-432, May.
  12. Thomas Hellmann & Manju Puri, 2002. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-Up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 57(1), pages 169-197, 02.
  13. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Str�mberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
  14. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 2001. "The Influence of the Financial Revolution on the Nature of Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 2782, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-84.
  16. Gibbons, Robert, 2005. "Four forma(lizable) theories of the firm?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 200-245, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Philippe Aghion & Mathias Dewatripont & Jeremy C. Stein, 2005. "Academic Freedom, Private-Sector Focus, and the Process of Innovation," NBER Working Papers 11542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Q. Farooq Akram, & Dagfinn Rime & Lucio Sarno, 2005. "Arbitrage in the foreign exchange market: Turning on the microscope," Working Paper 2005/12, Norges Bank.
  3. Ulf Axelson & Per Stromberg & Michael S. Weisbach, 2007. "Why are Buyouts Levered: The Financial Structure of Private Equity Funds," NBER Working Papers 12826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. van Hemert, Otto, 2006. "Life-Cycle Housing and Portfolio Choice with Bond Markets," SIFR Research Report Series 44, Institute for Financial Research.
  5. Geir H. Bjønnes & Steinar Holden & Dagfinn Rime & Haakon O. Aa. Solheim, 2009. "'Large' vs. 'Small' Players: A Closer Look at the Dynamics of Speculative Attacks," CESifo Working Paper Series 2518, CESifo Group Munich.

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