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The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital

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  • Laura Bottazzi
  • Marco Da Rin
  • Thomas F. 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 F. Hellmann, 2011. "The Importance of Trust for Investment: Evidence from Venture Capital," NBER Working Papers 16923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16923
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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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