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Is a VC Partnership Greater than the Sum of its Partners?

  • Michael Ewens
  • Matthew Rhodes-Kropf

This paper investigates whether individual venture capitalists have repeatable investment skill and to what extent their skill is impacted by the VC firm where they work. We examine a unique dataset that tracks the performance of individual venture capitalists' investments across time and as they move between firms. We find evidence of skill and exit style differences even among venture partners investing at the same VC firm at the same time. Furthermore, our estimates suggest the partner's human capital is two to five times more important than the VC firm's organizational capital in explaining performance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19120.

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Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19120
Note: CF IO PR
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. 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.
  2. Bertrand, Marianne & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "Managing With Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," Working papers 4280-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  3. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wongsunwai, 2007. "Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices: The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 62(2), pages 731-764, 04.
  4. John R. Graham & Si Li & Jiaping Qiu, 2012. "Managerial Attributes and Executive Compensation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 25(1), pages 144-186.
  5. Thomas Cornelissen, 2008. "The Stata command felsdvreg to fit a linear model with two high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(2), pages 170-189, June.
  6. Gary S. Becker, 1981. "A Treatise on the Family," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck81-1, July.
  7. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  8. Phalippou, Ludovic, 2010. "Venture capital funds: Flow-performance relationship and performance persistence," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 568-577, March.
  9. Bottazzi, Laura & Da Rin, Marco & Hellmann, Thomas, 2008. "Who are the active investors?: Evidence from venture capital," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(3), pages 488-512, September.
  10. Gompers, Paul & Kovner, Anna & Lerner, Josh & Scharfstein, David, 2010. "Performance persistence in entrepreneurship," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 18-32, April.
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