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Impact Investing

Author

Listed:
  • Brad M. Barber
  • Adair Morse
  • Ayako Yasuda

Abstract

We document that investors derive nonpecuniary utility from investing in dual-objective VC funds, thus sacrificing returns. Impact funds earn 4.7 percentage points (ppts) lower IRRs ex post than traditional VC funds. In random utility/willingness-to-pay (WTP) models investors accept 2.5-3.7 ppts lower IRRs ex ante for impact funds. The positive WTP result is robust to fund access rationing and investor heterogeneity in fund expected returns. Development organizations, foundations, financial institutions, public pensions, Europeans, and UNPRI signatories have high WTP. Investors with mission objectives and/or facing political pressure exhibit high WTP; those subject to legal restrictions (e.g., ERISA) exhibit low WTP.

Suggested Citation

  • Brad M. Barber & Adair Morse & Ayako Yasuda, 2019. "Impact Investing," NBER Working Papers 26582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26582
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    JEL classification:

    • A13 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Social Values
    • G11 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Portfolio Choice; Investment Decisions
    • G23 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Non-bank Financial Institutions; Financial Instruments; Institutional Investors
    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • G41 - Financial Economics - - Behavioral Finance - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making in Financial Markets
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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