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The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital

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  • Laura Bottazzi
  • Marco Da Rin
  • Thomas Hellmann

Abstract

We examine the effect of trust on financial investment and contracting decisions in a micro-economic environment where trust is exogenous. Using hand-collected data on European venture capital, we show that the Eurobarometer measure of trust among nations significantly affects investment decisions. This holds even after controlling for investor and company fixed effects, geographic distance, information and transaction costs. The national identity of venture capital firms’ individual partners further contributes to the effect of trust. Education and work experience reduce the effect of trust but do not eliminate it. We also examine the relationship between trust and sophisticated contracts involving contingent control rights and find that, even after controlling for endogeneity, they are complements, not substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura Bottazzi & Marco Da Rin & Thomas Hellmann, 2007. "The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital," Working Papers 325, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:325
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    Cited by:

    1. Bottazzi, Laura & Da Rin, Marco & Hellmann, Thomas, 2009. "What is the role of legal systems in financial intermediation? Theory and evidence," Journal of Financial Intermediation, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 559-598, October.
    2. Dieckmann, Anja & Grimm, Veronika & Unfried, Matthias & Utikal, Verena & Valmasoni, Lorenzo, 2016. "On trust in honesty and volunteering among Europeans: Cross-country evidence on perceptions and behavior," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 225-253.
    3. Daron Acemoglu & Alexander Wolitzky, 2012. "Cycles of Distrust: An Economic Model," Levine's Working Paper Archive 786969000000000502, David K. Levine.
    4. Naci Mocan & Christian Raschke, 2016. "Economic well-being and anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and racist attitudes in Germany," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 1-63, February.
    5. Rin, Marco Da & Hellmann, Thomas & Puri, Manju, 2013. "A Survey of Venture Capital Research," Handbook of the Economics of Finance, Elsevier.
    6. Luigi Guiso & Paola Sapienza & Luigi Zingales, 2009. "Cultural Biases in Economic Exchange?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(3), pages 1095-1131.
    7. repec:zbw:rwirep:0450 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Hale, Galina, 2012. "Bank relationships, business cycles, and financial crises," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 312-325.
    9. James S. Ang & Zhiqian Jiang & Chaopeng Wu, 2016. "Good Apples, Bad Apples: Sorting Among Chinese Companies Traded in the U.S," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 134(4), pages 611-629, April.
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    13. Andreas Hoepner & Ioannis Oikonomou & Bert Scholtens & Michael Schröder, 2016. "The Effects of Corporate and Country Sustainability Characteristics on The Cost of Debt: An International Investigation," Journal of Business Finance & Accounting, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1-2), pages 158-190, January.
    14. Mariassunta Giannetti & Yishay Yafeh, 2012. "Do Cultural Differences Between Contracting Parties Matter? Evidence from Syndicated Bank Loans," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 365-383.
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    22. Daniel Hain & Sofia Johan & Daojuan Wang, 2016. "Determinants of Cross-Border Venture Capital Investments in Emerging and Developed Economies: The Effects of Relational and Institutional Trust," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 138(4), pages 743-764, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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