Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts

Contents:

Author Info

  • Steven N. Kaplan
  • Per Stromberg

Abstract

In this paper, we compare the characteristics of real world financial contracts to their counterparts in financial contracting theory. We do so by conducting a detailed study of actual contracts between venture capitalists (VCs) and entrepreneurs. We consider VCs to be the real world entities who most closely approximate the investors of theory. (1) The distinguishing characteristic of VC financings is that they allow VCs to separately allocate cash flow rights, voting rights, board rights, liquidation rights, and other control rights. We explicitly measure and report the allocation of these rights. (2) While convertible securities are used most frequently, VCs also implement a similar allocation of rights using combinations of multiple classes of common stock and straight preferred stock. (3) Cash flow rights, voting rights, control rights, and future financings are frequently contingent on observable measures of financial and non-financial performance. (4) If the company performs poorly, the VCs obtain full control. As company performance improves, the entrepreneur retains / obtains more control rights. If the company performs very well, the VCs retain their cash flow rights, but relinquish most of their control and liquidation rights. The entrepreneur's cash flow rights also increase with firm performance. (5) It is common for VCs to include non-compete and vesting provisions aimed at mitigating the potential hold-up problem between the entrepreneur and the investor. We interpret our results in relation to existing financial contracting theories. The contracts we observe are most consistent with the theoretical work of Aghion and Bolton (1992) and Dewatripont and Tirole (1994). They also are consistent with screening theories.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7660.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7660.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Kaplan, Steven N and Per Stromberg. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets The Real World: An Empirical Analysis Of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, 2003, v70(2,Apr), 281-315.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7660

Note: CF
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Oliver Hart & Sanford Grossman, 1985. "The Costs and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 372, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  2. Oliver Hart & John Moore, 1997. "Default and Renegotiation: A Dynamic Model of Debt," NBER Working Papers 5907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bergemann, Dirk & Hege, Ulrich, 1998. "Venture capital financing, moral hazard, and learning," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 22(6-8), pages 703-735, August.
  4. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1994. "A Theory of Debt Based on the Inalienability of Human Capital," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 841-79, November.
  5. Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1990. "Performance Pay and Top-Management Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(2), pages 225-64, April.
  6. Peter DeMarzo & Darrell Duffie, 1999. "A Liquidity-Based Model of Security Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 67(1), pages 65-100, January.
  7. Aghion, Philippe & Bolton, Patrick, 1992. "An Incomplete Contracts Approach to Financial Contracting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 473-94, July.
  8. Smith, Clifford Jr. & Warner, Jerold B., 1979. "On financial contracting : An analysis of bond covenants," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 117-161, June.
  9. Admati, Anat R & Pfleiderer, Paul, 1994. " Robust Financial Contracting and the Role of Venture Capitalists," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 49(2), pages 371-402, June.
  10. Innes, Robert D., 1990. "Limited liability and incentive contracting with ex-ante action choices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 45-67, October.
  11. Fluck, Zsuzsanna, 1998. "Optimal Financial Contracting: Debt versus Outside Equity," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 11(2), pages 383-418.
  12. George P. Baker & Brian J. Hall, 1998. "CEO Incentives and Firm Size," NBER Working Papers 6868, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
  14. Harris, Milton & Raviv, Artur, 1979. "Optimal incentive contracts with imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 231-259, April.
  15. Rafael Repullo & Javier Suarez, 2004. "Venture Capital Finance: A Security Design Approach," Review of Finance, Springer, Springer, vol. 8(1), pages 75-108.
  16. Thomas Hellmann, 1998. "The Allocation of Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 57-76, Spring.
  17. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-18, March.
  18. Sanford J. Grossman & Oliver D. Hart, 1982. "Corporate Financial Structure and Managerial Incentives," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Information and Uncertainty, pages 107-140 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Gorman, Michael & Sahlman, William A., 1989. "What do venture capitalists do?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 231-248, July.
  20. Hart, Oliver & Moore, John, 1995. "Debt and Seniority: An Analysis of the Role of Hard Claims in Constraining Management," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 567-85, June.
  21. Franklin Allen & Andrew Winton, . "Corporate Financial Structure, Incentives and Optimal Contracting (Reprint 049)," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research 15-94, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
  22. Bengt Holmstrom, 1979. "Moral Hazard and Observability," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 74-91, Spring.
  23. Bolton, Patrick & Scharfstein, David S, 1990. "A Theory of Predation Based on Agency Problems in Financial Contracting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 93-106, March.
  24. Hellmann, Thomas F. & Puri, Manju, 2000. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Research Papers, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 1661, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  25. Diamond, Douglas W, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414, July.
  26. Lazear, Edward P, 1986. "Salaries and Piece Rates," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 59(3), pages 405-31, July.
  27. Black, Bernard S. & Gilson, Ronald J., 1998. "Venture capital and the structure of capital markets: banks versus stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-277, March.
  28. Dewatripont, Mathias & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "A Theory of Debt and Equity: Diversity of Securities and Manager-Shareholder Congruence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1027-54, November.
  29. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  30. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  31. Gale, Douglas & Hellwig, Martin, 1985. "Incentive-Compatible Debt Contracts: The One-Period Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 647-63, October.
  32. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7660. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.