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When Bureaucrats Meet Entrepreneurs: The Design of Effective "Public Venture Capital" Programmes

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  • Josh Lerner

    (Harvard University and National Bureau of Economic Research, USA)

Abstract

Recently public efforts to finance small high-technology firms have proliferated. We review the motivations for these efforts and make some preliminary observations about their design. We explore the underlying challenges that the financing of young growth firms poses, the ways that specialised financial intermediaries address them, and the rationales for public efforts to finance these companies. The final section makes a set of observations about the ways in which the structure of these efforts can most effectively complement private sector activity. A frequent fault in programme design is the presumption that technological criteria can be divorced from business considerations when evaluating firms. Copyright Royal Economic Society 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Josh Lerner, 2002. "When Bureaucrats Meet Entrepreneurs: The Design of Effective "Public Venture Capital" Programmes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(477), pages 73-84, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:112:y:2002:i:477:p:f73-f84
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Josh Lerner, 1996. "The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long-Run Effects of the SBIR Program," NBER Working Papers 5753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. George W. Fenn & J. Nellie Liang & Stephen D. Prowse, 1995. "The economics of the private equity market," Staff Studies 168, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 2000. "Money chasing deals? The impact of fund inflows on private equity valuation," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 281-325, February.
    4. Himmelberg, Charles P & Petersen, Bruce C, 1994. "R&D and Internal Finance: A Panel Study of Small Firms in High-Tech Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 38-51, February.
    5. Freear, John & Wetzel, William Jr., 1990. "Who bankrolls high-tech entrepreneurs?," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 77-89, March.
    6. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1998. "Capital-Market Imperfections and Investment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 193-225, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Edwin Mansfield & John Rapoport & Anthony Romeo & Samuel Wagner & George Beardsley, 1977. "Social and Private Rates of Return from Industrial Innovations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 91(2), pages 221-240.
    9. Gompers, Paul A, 1995. " Optimal Investment, Monitoring, and the Staging of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1461-1489, December.
    10. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
    11. Greenwald, Bruce & Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1984. "Informational Imperfections in the Capital Market and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 194-199, May.
    12. Tor Jakob Klette & Jarle Moen & Zvi Griliches, 1999. "Do Subsidies to Commercial R&D Reduce Market Failures - Microeconomic Evaluation Studies?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1861, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    13. Joshua Lerner, 1994. "The Syndication of Venture Capital Investments," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 23(3), Fall.
    14. Zvi Griliches, 1998. "The Search for R&D Spillovers," NBER Chapters,in: R&D and Productivity: The Econometric Evidence, pages 251-268 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
    16. Devenow, Andrea & Welch, Ivo, 1996. "Rational herding in financial economics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 603-615, April.
    17. Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1999. "What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?," NBER Working Papers 6906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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