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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. Vesa Kanniainen & Christian Keuschnigg, 2001. "Start-Up Investment with Scarce Venture Capital Support," CESifo Working Paper Series 439, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Christian Keuschnigg, 2004. "Taxation of a venture capitalist with a portfolio of firms," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 285-306, April.
  3. Kanniainen, Vesa & Keuschnigg, Christian, 2003. "The optimal portfolio of start-up firms in venture capital finance," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 521-534, November.
  4. Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2000. "The Interaction between Product Market and Financing Strategy: The Role of Venture Capital," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 13(4), pages 959-84.
  5. Schmidt, Klaus M., 2003. "Convertible Securities and Venture Capital Finance," Munich Reprints in Economics 19769, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
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  7. McAfee, R Preston & McMillan, John, 1991. "Optimal Contracts for Teams," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(3), pages 561-77, August.
  8. James M. Poterba, 1989. "Venture Capital and Capital Gains Taxation," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 3, pages 47-68 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Oliver Hart, 2001. "Financial Contracting," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1079-1100, December.
  10. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2001. "Venture Capitalists As Principals: Contracting, Screening, and Monitoring," NBER Working Papers 8202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Tirole, Jean, 1999. "Corporate Governance," CEPR Discussion Papers 2086, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Christian Keuschnigg & Søren Bo Nielsen, 2001. "Public Policy for Venture Capital," CESifo Working Paper Series 486, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. Christian Keuschnigg & Søren Bo Nielsen, . "Tax Policy, Venture Capital, and Entrepreneurship," EPRU Working Paper Series 00-18, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  14. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2000. "Financial Contracting Theory Meets the Real World: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Capital Contracts," NBER Working Papers 7660, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Inderst, Roman & Mueller, Holger M, 2002. "Venture Capital Contracts and Market Structure," CEPR Discussion Papers 3203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Robert Z. Ailber (ed.), 2001. "International Finance," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 525.
  17. Repullo, Rafael & Suarez, Javier, 1999. "Venture Capital Finance: A Security Design Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 2097, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Masters, Adrian M, 1998. "Efficiency of Investment in Human and Physical Capital in a Model of Bilateral Search and Bargaining," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 477-94, May.
  19. Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner, 2001. "The Venture Capital Revolution," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(2), pages 145-168, Spring.
  20. Bengt Holmstrom, 1982. "Moral Hazard in Teams," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 324-340, Autumn.
  21. Casamatta, Catherine, 2002. "Financing and Advising: Optimal Financial Contracts with Venture Capitalists," CEPR Discussion Papers 3475, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. 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.
  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. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "On the Management of Innovation," IDEI Working Papers 36, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  26. Poterba, James M., 1989. "Capital Gains Tax Policy Toward Entrepreneurship," National Tax Journal, National Tax Association, vol. 42(3), pages 375-89, September.
  27. 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.
  28. Aghion, Philippe & Tirole, Jean, 1994. "The Management of Innovation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(4), pages 1185-1209, November.
  29. 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.
  30. Roger H. Gordon, 1998. "Can High Personal Tax Rates Encourage Entrepreneurial Activity?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 49-80, March.
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