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The economics of the private equity market

Author

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  • Stephen D. Prowse

Abstract

The private equity market is an important source of funds for start-ups, private middle-market companies, firms in financial distress, and public firms seeking buyout financing. Over the past fifteen years, it has been the fastest growing corporate finance market, far surpassing the public equity and public and private bond markets. In this article, Stephen Prowse examines the economic foundations of the private equity market and describes its institutional structure. He also explores reasons for the market's explosive growth and highlights the main characteristics of that growth, including data on returns to private equity investors. He describes the important investors, intermediaries, and issuers in the market and their interactions with each other. In particular, he investigates how the major intermediary in the market--the limited partnership--addresses the severe information problems associated with investing in small private firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen D. Prowse, 1998. "The economics of the private equity market," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 21-34.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedder:y:1998:i:qiii:p:21-34
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    File URL: http://www.dallasfed.org/assets/documents/research/er/1998/er9803c.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58.
    2. Leland, Hayne E & Pyle, David H, 1977. "Informational Asymmetries, Financial Structure, and Financial Intermediation," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 32(2), pages 371-387, May.
    3. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
    4. Palepu, Krishna G., 1990. "Consequences of leveraged buyouts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 247-262, September.
    5. Stephen A. Ross, 1977. "The Determination of Financial Structure: The Incentive-Signalling Approach," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 8(1), pages 23-40, Spring.
    6. Douglas W. Diamond, 1984. "Financial Intermediation and Delegated Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(3), pages 393-414.
    7. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 2003. "Liquidity flows and fragility of business enterprises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1215-1241, September.
    2. repec:cdl:ucsdec:99-07r is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Dahiya, Sandeep & Ray, Korok, 2012. "Staged investments in entrepreneurial financing," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 1193-1216.
    4. Magnus Henrekson & Dan Johansson & Mikael Stenkula, 2010. "Taxation, Labor Market Policy and High-Impact Entrepreneurship," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 275-296, September.
    5. Leonel Arango Vásquez & Eduardo Alexander Duque Grisales & Germán Horacio Cardona Vélez, 2014. "La teoría de la agencia en la industria del capital riesgo: mecanismos de alineación de intereses," ESCENARIOS: EMPRESAS Y TERRITORIO, INSTITUCION UNIVERSITARIA ESUMER, January.
    6. Bock, Carolin & Schmidt, Maximilian, 2015. "Should I stay, or should I go? – How fund dynamics influence venture capital exit decisions," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 68-82.
    7. repec:cdl:ucsdec:99-07 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Capasso, Arturo & Faraci, Rosario & Picone, Pasquale Massimo, 2014. "Equity-worthiness and equity-willingness: Key factors in private equity deals," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 57(5), pages 637-645.
    9. Mantell, Edmund H., 2005. "An ergodic theory of venture capital solicitation," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 149-168.

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