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The Allocation of Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts

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  • Thomas Hellmann

Abstract

Venture capitalists often hold extensive control rights over entrepreneurial companies, including the right to fire entrepreneurs. This article examines why, and under what circumstances, entrepreneurs would voluntarily relinquish control. Control rights protect the venture capitalists from hold-up by the entrepreneurs. This provides the correct incentives for the venture capitalists to search for a superior management team. Wealth-constrained entrepreneurs may give up control even if the change in management imposes a greater loss of private benefit to them than a monetary gain to the company. The model also explains why entrepreneurs accept vesting of their stock and low severance.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Hellmann, 1998. "The Allocation of Control Rights in Venture Capital Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 29(1), pages 57-76, Spring.
  • Handle: RePEc:rje:randje:v:29:y:1998:i:spring:p:57-76
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