IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/teinso/v65y2021ics0160791x21000300.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

On the upside or flipside: Where is venture capital positioned in the era of digital disruptions?

Author

Listed:
  • Khan, Muhammad Zubair
  • Khan, Zafir Ullah
  • Hameed, Affan
  • Zada, Shehnaz Sahib

Abstract

Recent studies have found that disruptive technologies, such as FinTech, have the potential to overturn existing business models and overthrow incumbents. These studies have demonstrated that newly emerging digital platforms financing early-stage ventures threaten traditional venture capital (VC). We argue that, conversely, VC benefits from advances in information and communication technology (ICT), as ICT fosters entrepreneurship and mitigates agency issues in VC deals. This paper examines the impact of digitization on VC investments from 23 European countries spanning 2007–2019 using a dynamic panel two-step system generalized method of moments (GMM) estimation technique. The results show that the factors “ICT penetration” (a general measure of societal internet and computer access and use) and “digital economy” (a measure of ICT-powered economic activity) exert significant and positive effects on early-stage, later-stage, and total VC investments. Moreover, availability of bank credit moderates the effect of digital economy on VC investment. Finally, this study reveals that it is digital entrepreneurship (as reflected in our “digital economy” measure), and not total entrepreneurial activity, that attracts VC investment. We conclude that the VC industry is aligned with rather than threatened by the newly emerging digital environment. The empirical results are robust to different control variables and data sources. This paper offers useful implications for policy and contributes to the literature on digital entrepreneurship and venture capital.

Suggested Citation

  • Khan, Muhammad Zubair & Khan, Zafir Ullah & Hameed, Affan & Zada, Shehnaz Sahib, 2021. "On the upside or flipside: Where is venture capital positioned in the era of digital disruptions?," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:teinso:v:65:y:2021:i:c:s0160791x21000300
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101555
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160791X21000300
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.techsoc.2021.101555?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2003. "Instrumental variables and GMM: Estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 3(1), pages 1-31, March.
    2. Vladimir Vladimirovich Kolmakov & Aleksandra Grigorievna Polyakova & Vasily Sergeevich Shalaev, 2015. "An Analysis Of The Impact Of Venture Capital Investment On Economic Growth And Innovation: Evidence From The Usa And Russia," Economic Annals, Faculty of Economics and Business, University of Belgrade, vol. 60(207), pages 7-38, September.
    3. Keuschnigg, Christian & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2003. "Tax policy, venture capital, and entrepreneurship," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 175-203, January.
    4. Bernard S. Black & Ronald J. Gilson, 1999. "Does Venture Capital Require An Active Stock Market?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 11(4), pages 36-48, January.
    5. Satish Nambisan, 2017. "Digital Entrepreneurship: Toward a Digital Technology Perspective of Entrepreneurship," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 41(6), pages 1029-1055, November.
    6. Simplice A. Asongu & Jacinta C. Nwachukwu, 2019. "ICT, Financial Sector Development and Financial Access," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 10(2), pages 465-490, June.
    7. Rizwan Mushtaq & Catherine Bruneau, 2019. "Microfinance, financial inclusion and ICT: Implications for poverty and inequality," Post-Print hal-03452826, HAL.
    8. Sassi, Seifallah & Goaied, Mohamed, 2013. "Financial development, ICT diffusion and economic growth: Lessons from MENA region," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 252-261.
    9. Mike, Ken Wright Robbie, 1998. "Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Review and Synthesis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5‐6), pages 521-570, June.
    10. Stijn Claessens & Jon Frost & Grant Turner & Feng Zhu, 2018. "Fintech credit markets around the world: size, drivers and policy issues," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    11. James J. Angel & Lawrence E. Harris & Chester S. Spatt, 2011. "Equity Trading in the 21stCentury," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 1-53.
    12. Peter Gomber & Jascha-Alexander Koch & Michael Siering, 2017. "Digital Finance and FinTech: current research and future research directions," Journal of Business Economics, Springer, vol. 87(5), pages 537-580, July.
    13. Simplice A. Asongu & Paul N. Acha-Anyi, 2017. "ICT, conflicts in financial intermediation and financial access: evidence of synergy and threshold effects," Netnomics, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 131-168, December.
    14. Mr. Dong He & Mr. Ross B Leckow & Mr. V. Haksar & Mr. Tommaso Mancini-Griffoli & Nigel Jenkinson & Ms. Mikari Kashima & Mr. Tanai Khiaonarong & Ms. Celine Rochon & Hervé Tourpe, 2017. "Fintech and Financial Services: Initial Considerations," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 2017/005, International Monetary Fund.
    15. Asongu, Simplice A. & Moulin, Bertrand, 2016. "The role of ICT in reducing information asymmetry for financial access," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 202-213.
    16. Alexander Groh & Heinrich Von Liechtenstein, 2009. "How attractive is central Eastern Europe for risk capital investors?," Post-Print hal-02312824, HAL.
    17. Andrea Schertler, 2007. "Knowledge Capital and Venture Capital Investments: New Evidence from European Panel Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(1), pages 64-88, February.
    18. Yixi Ning & Wei Wang & Bo Yu, 2015. "The driving forces of venture capital investments," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 44(2), pages 315-344, February.
    19. David Roodman, 2009. "How to do xtabond2: An introduction to difference and system GMM in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(1), pages 86-136, March.
    20. Richard T. Harrison & Colin M. Mason, 2019. "Venture Capital 20 years on: reflections on the evolution of a field," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 1-34, January.
    21. Aizenman, Joshua & Kendall, Jake, 2008. "The Internationalization of Venture Capital and Private Equity," Santa Cruz Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt3vh3n83p, Department of Economics, UC Santa Cruz.
    22. Christian Schröder, 2009. "Financial System and Innovations: Determinants of Early Stage Venture Capital in Europe," EIIW Discussion paper disbei167, Universitätsbibliothek Wuppertal, University Library.
    23. Pradhan, Rudra P. & Arvin, Mak B. & Nair, Mahendhiran & Bennett, Sara E. & Bahmani, Sahar, 2019. "Short-term and long-term dynamics of venture capital and economic growth in a digital economy: A study of European countries," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 125-134.
    24. Essendorfer, Stephan & Diaz-Rainey, Ivan & Falta, Michael, 2015. "Creative destruction in Wall Street's technological arms race: Evidence from patent data," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 300-316.
    25. Maura McAdam & Caren Crowley & Richard T. Harrison, 2020. "Digital girl: cyberfeminism and the emancipatory potential of digital entrepreneurship in emerging economies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(2), pages 349-362, August.
    26. Mr. Kangni R Kpodar & Mihasonirina Andrianaivo, 2011. "ICT, Financial Inclusion, and Growth: Evidence from African Countries," IMF Working Papers 2011/073, International Monetary Fund.
    27. Dong He & Ross B Leckow & Vikram Haksar & Tommaso Mancini Griffoli & Nigel Jenkinson & Mikari Kashima & Tanai Khiaonarong & Celine Rochon & Hervé Tourpe, 2017. "Fintech and Financial Services; Initial Considerations," IMF Staff Discussion Notes 17/05, International Monetary Fund.
    28. Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1998. "What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(1998 Micr), pages 149-204.
    29. Mushtaq, Rizwan & Bruneau, Catherine, 2019. "Microfinance, financial inclusion and ICT: Implications for poverty and inequality," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 59(C).
    30. Maura McAdam & Caren Crowley & Richard T. Harrison, 2020. "Correction to: Digital girl: cyberfeminism and the emancipatory potential of digital entrepreneurship in emerging economies," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(4), pages 1179-1179, December.
    31. Günseli Baygan & Michael Freudenberg, 2000. "The Internationalisation of Venture Capital Activity in OECD Countries: Implications for Measurement and Policy," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2000/7, OECD Publishing.
    32. Estrin, Saul & Gozman, Daniel & Khavul, Susanna, 2017. "Equity crowdfunding and early stage entrepreneurial finance: damaging or disruptive?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 86590, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    33. Black, Bernard S. & Gilson, Ronald J., 1998. "Venture capital and the structure of capital markets: banks versus stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-277, March.
    34. Hwang, Jungbin & Sun, Yixiao, 2018. "Should we go one step further? An accurate comparison of one-step and two-step procedures in a generalized method of moments framework," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 207(2), pages 381-405.
    35. Helmut Elsinger & Pirmin Fessler & Judith Feyrer & Konrad Richter & Maria Antoinette Silgoner & Andreas Timel, 2018. "Digitalization in financial services and household finance: fintech, financial literacy and financial stability," Financial Stability Report, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 35, pages 50-58.
    36. Da Rin, Marco & Nicodano, Giovanna & Sembenelli, Alessandro, 2006. "Public policy and the creation of active venture capital markets," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(8-9), pages 1699-1723, September.
    37. Groh, Alexander Peter & von Liechtenstein, Heinrich, 2009. "How attractive is central Eastern Europe for risk capital investors?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 625-647, June.
    38. Keele, Luke & Kelly, Nathan J., 2006. "Dynamic Models for Dynamic Theories: The Ins and Outs of Lagged Dependent Variables," Political Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(2), pages 186-205, April.
    39. Mike Wright, 1998. "Venture Capital and Private Equity: A Review and Synthesis," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5&6), pages 521-570.
    40. Jeng, Leslie A. & Wells, Philippe C., 2000. "The determinants of venture capital funding: evidence across countries," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 241-289, September.
    41. Rizwan Mushtaq & Catherine Bruneau, 2019. "Microfinance, financial inclusion and ICT: Implications for poverty and inequality," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-03452826, HAL.
    42. Manigart, Sophie, 1994. "The founding rate of venture capital firms in three European countries (1970-1990)," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(6), pages 525-541, November.
    43. Stanislav Mamonov & Ross Malaga, 2019. "Success factors in Title II equity crowdfunding in the United States," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2-3), pages 223-241, July.
    44. Rainer Alt & Roman Beck & Martin T. Smits, 2018. "FinTech and the transformation of the financial industry," Electronic Markets, Springer;IIM University of St. Gallen, vol. 28(3), pages 235-243, August.
    45. Winifred Huang & Michele Meoli & Silvio Vismara, 2020. "The geography of initial coin offerings," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 77-102, June.
    46. Anagnostopoulos, Ioannis, 2018. "Fintech and regtech: Impact on regulators and banks," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 7-25.
    47. Saul Estrin & Daniel Gozman & Susanna Khavul, 2017. "Equity crowdfunding and early stage entrepreneurial finance: damaging or disruptive?," CEP Discussion Papers dp1498, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    48. Stefano Bonini & Vincenzo Capizzi, 2019. "The role of venture capital in the emerging entrepreneurial finance ecosystem: future threats and opportunities," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(2-3), pages 137-175, July.
    49. Terrence Hendershott & Ananth Madhavan, 2015. "Click or Call? Auction versus Search in the Over-the-Counter Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 70(1), pages 419-447, February.
    50. Stefano Bonini & Senem Alkan, 2012. "The political and legal determinants of venture capital investments around the world," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 39(4), pages 997-1016, November.
    51. Damiano Bonardo & Stefano Paleari & Silvio Vismara, 2011. "Valuing University–Based Firms: The Effects of Academic Affiliation on IPO Performance," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 35(4), pages 755-776, July.
    52. Douglas Cumming & Sofia Johan, 2010. "The Differential Impact of the Internet on Spurring Regional Entrepreneurship," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 34(5), pages 857-884, September.
    53. Milosevic, Miona, 2018. "Skills or networks? Success and fundraising determinants in a low performing venture capital market," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 49-60.
    54. Andy Lockett & Mike Wright & Harry Sapienza & Sarika Pruthi, 2002. "Venture capital investors, valuation and information: A comparative study of the US, Hong Kong, India and Singapore," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 237-252, July.
    55. Pradhan, Rudra P. & Arvin, Mak B. & Norman, Neville R., 2015. "The dynamics of information and communications technologies infrastructure, economic growth, and financial development: Evidence from Asian countries," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 135-149.
    56. Matthess, Marcel & Kunkel, Stefanie, 2020. "Structural change and digitalization in developing countries: Conceptually linking the two transformations," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    57. Gregor Dorfleitner & Lars Hornuf & Matthias Schmitt & Martina Weber, 2017. "FinTech in Germany," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-319-54666-7, June.
    58. Nickell, Stephen J, 1981. "Biases in Dynamic Models with Fixed Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(6), pages 1417-1426, November.
    59. Fiet, James O., 1995. "Reliance upon informants in the venture capital industry," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 195-223, May.
    60. Leleux, Benoit & Surlemont, Bernard, 2003. "Public versus private venture capital: seeding or crowding out? A pan-European analysis," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 81-104, January.
    61. van Pottelsberghe de la Potterie, Bruno & Romain, Astrid, 2004. "The Determinants of Venture Capital: Additional Evidence," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,19, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    62. Frederik von Briel & Per Davidsson & Jan Recker, 2018. "Digital Technologies as External Enablers of New Venture Creation in the IT Hardware Sector," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 42(1), pages 47-69, January.
    63. James J. Angel & Lawrence E. Harris & Chester S. Spatt, 2015. "Equity Trading in the 21st Century: An Update," Quarterly Journal of Finance (QJF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 5(01), pages 1-39.
    64. Drasch, Benedict J. & Schweizer, André & Urbach, Nils, 2018. "Integrating the ‘Troublemakers’: A taxonomy for cooperation between banks and fintechs," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 26-42.
    65. Kangni Kpodar & Mihasonirina Andrianaivo, 2011. "ICT, Financial Inclusion and Growth: Evidence from African Countries," Post-Print halshs-00602411, HAL.
    66. Daniela Gabor & Sally Brooks, 2017. "The digital revolution in financial inclusion: international development in the fintech era," New Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(4), pages 423-436, July.
    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


    Cited by:

    1. Yang, Xiaoran & Ran, Rong & Chen, Yejing & Zhang, Jie, 2024. "Does digital government transformation drive regional green innovation? Evidence from cities in China," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    2. Paul, Justin & Alhassan, Ibrahim & Binsaif, Nasser & Singh, Prakash, 2023. "Digital entrepreneurship research: A systematic review," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 156(C).
    3. Li, Chengming & Zhang, Xinyi & Dong, Xiaoqi & Yan, Qiangming & Zeng, Liangen & Wang, Zeyu, 2023. "The impact of smart cities on entrepreneurial activity: Evidence from a quasi-natural experiment in China," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 81(C).
    4. Berns, John P. & Jia, Yankun & Gondo, Maria, 2022. "Crowdfunding success in sustainability-oriented projects: An exploratory examination of the crowdfunding of 3D printers," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    5. Gallucci, Carmen & Giakoumelou, Anastasia & Santulli, Rosalia & Tipaldi, Riccardo, 2023. "How financial literacy moderates the relationship between qualitative business information and the success of an equity crowdfunding campaign: Evidence from Mediterranean and Gulf Cooperation Council ," Technology in Society, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Schertler, Andrea & Tykvová, Tereza, 2011. "Venture capital and internationalization," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 423-439, August.
    2. Hewa Wellalage, Nirosha & Hunjra, Ahmed Imran & Manita, Riadh & Locke, Stuart M., 2021. "Information communication technology and financial inclusion of innovative entrepreneurs," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    3. Schertler, Andrea & Tykvová, Tereza, 2012. "What lures cross-border venture capital inflows?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1777-1799.
    4. Carolin Bock & Martin Watzinger, 2019. "The Capital Gains Tax: A Curse but Also a Blessing for Venture Capital Investment," Journal of Small Business Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 57(4), pages 1200-1231, October.
    5. Josh Lerner & Joacim Tåg, 2013. "Institutions and venture capital," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press and the Associazione ICC, vol. 22(1), pages 153-182, February.
    6. Johannes Wallmeroth & Peter Wirtz & Alexander Peter Groh, 2017. "Institutional Seed Financing, Angel Financing, and Crowdfunding of Entrepreneurial Ventures: A Literature Review," Working Papers hal-01527999, HAL.
    7. Luca Grilli & Boris Mrkajic & Gresa Latifi, 2018. "Venture capital in Europe: social capital, formal institutions and mediation effects," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 51(2), pages 393-410, August.
    8. Andrea Schertler, 2007. "Knowledge Capital and Venture Capital Investments: New Evidence from European Panel Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(1), pages 64-88, February.
    9. Kouladoum, Jean-Claude & Wirajing, Muhamadu Awal Kindzeka & Nchofoung, Tii N., 2022. "Digital technologies and financial inclusion in Sub-Saharan Africa," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 46(9).
    10. Andrea Schertler, 2007. "Knowledge Capital and Venture Capital Investments: New Evidence from European Panel Data," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8, pages 64-88, January.
    11. Mustafa Raza Rabbani & Shahnawaz Khan & Eleftherios I. Thalassinos, 2020. "FinTech, Blockchain and Islamic Finance: An Extensive Literature Review," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(2), pages 65-86.
    12. Tykvová, Tereza & Schertler, Andrea, 2011. "Cross-border venture capital flows and local ties: Evidence from developed countries," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 36-48, February.
    13. Lohwasser, Todor S., 2020. "Meta-analyzing the relative performance of venture capital-backed firms," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 4/2020, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.
    14. Fred Huibers, 2021. "Regulatory Response to the Rise of Fintech Credit in The Netherlands," JRFM, MDPI, vol. 14(8), pages 1-12, August.
    15. Meuleman, Miguel & Wright, Mike, 2011. "Cross-border private equity syndication: Institutional context and learning," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 35-48, January.
    16. Yáñez-Valdés, Claudia & Guerrero, Maribel & Barros-Celume, Sebastián & Ibáñez, María J., 2023. "Winds of change due to global lockdowns: Refreshing digital social entrepreneurship research paradigm," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 190(C).
    17. Cumming, Douglas, 2014. "Public economics gone wild: Lessons from venture capital," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 251-260.
    18. Roman Kraussl & Stefan Krause, 2013. "Has Europe Been Catching Up? An Industry Level Analysis of Venture Capital Success over 1985-2009," DEM Discussion Paper Series 13-6, Department of Economics at the University of Luxembourg.
    19. John Armour & Douglas Cumming, 2006. "The legislative road to Silicon Valley," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(4), pages 596-635, October.
    20. Olabanji Oni, 2017. "Determinants of Venture Capital Supply in Sub-Saharan Africa," Journal of Economics and Behavioral Studies, AMH International, vol. 9(4), pages 87-97.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:teinso:v:65:y:2021:i:c:s0160791x21000300. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/technology-in-society .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.