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

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  • Steven N. Kaplan
  • Per Strömberg

Abstract

We compare the characteristics of real-world financial contracts to their counterparts in financial contracting theory. We do so by studying the actual contracts between venture capitalists (VCs) and entrepreneurs. The distinguishing characteristic of VC financings is that they allow VCs to separately allocate cash flow rights, board rights, voting rights, liquidation rights, and other control rights. We describe and measure these rights. We then interpret our results in relation to existing financial contracting theories. We also describe the interrelation and the evolution across financing rounds of the different rights. Copyright 2003, Wiley-Blackwell.

Suggested Citation

  • Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2003. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 281-315.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:restud:v:70:y:2003:i:2:p:281-315
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/1467-937X.00245
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill

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