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Start-ups, Venture Capitalists, and the Capital Gains Tax

  • Christian Keuschnigg
  • Søren Bo Nielsen

A model of start-up finance with double moral hazard is proposed. Entrepreneurs have ideas but lack own resources as well as commercial experience. Venture capitalists provide start-up finance and managerial support. Both types of agents thus jointly contribute to the firm’s success, but neither type’s effort is verifiable. We find that the market equilibrium is biased towards inefficiently low venture capital support. In this situation, the capital gains tax is particularly harmful. The introduction of a small tax impairs managerial advice and leads to first order welfare losses. Once the tax is in place, limitations on loss off-set may paradoxically contribute to higher quality of venture capital backed entrepreneurship and welfare.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 742.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_742
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  1. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Strömberg, 2000. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," CRSP working papers 513, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  2. Keuschnigg, Christian & Nielsen, Soren Bo, 2000. "Tax Policy, Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship," CEPR Discussion Papers 2626, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  6. Hellmann, Thomas F. & Puri, Manju, 2000. "Venture Capital and the Professionalization of Start-up Firms: Empirical Evidence," Research Papers 1661, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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  10. Christian Keuschnigg, 2002. "Start-Up Investment With Scarce Venture Capital Support," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2002 2002-03, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  11. Roger H. Gordon, 1998. "Can High Personal Tax Rates Encourage Entrepreneurial Activity?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 49-80, March.
  12. Klaus Schmidt, 1999. "Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance," CESifo Working Paper Series 217, CESifo Group Munich.
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  14. Aghion, P. & Tirole, J., 1993. "On the Management of Innovation," Working papers 93-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  19. Casamatta, Catherine, 2002. "Financing and Advising: Optimal Financial Contracts with Venture Capitalists," CEPR Discussion Papers 3475, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Laura Bottazzi & Marco Da Rin, . "Euro.NM and the Financing of European Innovative Firms," Working Papers 171, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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  22. Repullo, R. & Suarez, J., 1998. "Venture Capital Finance: a Security Design Approach," Papers 9804, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  23. Sahlman, William A., 1990. "The structure and governance of venture-capital organizations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 473-521, October.
  24. Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1999. "What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?," NBER Working Papers 6906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2001. "Venture Capitalists As Principals: Contracting, Screening, and Monitoring," NBER Working Papers 8202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Samuel Kortum & Josh Lerner, 2000. "Assessing the Contribution of Venture Capital to Innovation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 674-692, Winter.
  27. Christian Keuschnigg & Søren Bo Nielsen, 2004. "Progressive Taxation, Moral Hazard, and Entrepreneurship," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 6(3), pages 471-490, 08.
  28. Poterba, James M., 1989. "Capital Gains Tax Policy Toward Entrepreneurship," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(3), pages 375-89, September.
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