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Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence, and Capital Flows

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  • STEVEN N. KAPLAN
  • ANTOINETTE SCHOAR

Abstract

This paper investigates the performance and capital inflows of private equity partnerships. Average fund returns (net of fees) approximately equal the S&P 500 although substantial heterogeneity across funds exists. Returns persist strongly across subsequent funds of a partnership. Better performing partnerships are more likely to raise follow‐on funds and larger funds. This relationship is concave, so top performing partnerships grow proportionally less than average performers. At the industry level, market entry and fund performance are procyclical; however, established funds are less sensitive to cycles than new entrants. Several of these results differ markedly from those for mutual funds.

Suggested Citation

  • 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, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:60:y:2005:i:4:p:1791-1823
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1540-6261.2005.00780.x
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