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What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?


  • Paul A. Gompers
  • Josh Lerner


We examine the determinants of venture capital fundraising in the U.S. over the past twenty-five years. We study industry aggregate, state-level, and firm-specific fundraising to determine if macroeconomic, regulatory, or performance factors affect venture capital activity. We find that shifts in demand for venture capital appear to have a positive and important impact on commitments to new venture capital funds. Commitments by taxable and tax-exempt investors seem equally sensitive to changes in capital gains tax rates that decreases in capital gains tax rates increase the demand for venture capital as more workers are incented to become entrepreneurs. Aggregate and state level venture fundraising are positively affected by easing of pension investment restrictions as well as industrial and academic R&D expenditures. Fund performance and reputation also lead to greater fundraising by venture organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul A. Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1999. "What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?," NBER Working Papers 6906, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6906
    Note: CF PR

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Josh Lerner, 1996. "The Government as Venture Capitalist: The Long-Run Effects of the SBIR Program," NBER Working Papers 5753, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Black, Bernard S. & Gilson, Ronald J., 1998. "Venture capital and the structure of capital markets: banks versus stock markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 243-277, March.
    3. Kortum, Samuel & Lerner, Josh, 1998. "Stronger protection or technological revolution: what is behind the recent surge in patenting?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 247-304, June.
    4. Brav, Alon & Gompers, Paul A, 1997. " Myth or Reality? The Long-Run Underperformance of Initial Public Offerings: Evidence from Venture and Nonventure Capital-Backed Companies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(5), pages 1791-1821, December.
    5. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1996. "The Use of Covenants: An Empirical Analysis of Venture Partnership Agreements," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 463-498, October.
    6. Chevalier, Judith & Ellison, Glenn, 1997. "Risk Taking by Mutual Funds as a Response to Incentives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1167-1200, December.
    7. Irwin, Douglas A. & Klenow, Peter J., 1996. "High-tech R&D subsidies Estimating the effects of Sematech," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 323-344, May.
    8. Erik R. Sirri & Peter Tufano, 1998. "Costly Search and Mutual Fund Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(5), pages 1589-1622, October.
    9. Scholes, Myron S, 1972. "The Market for Securities: Substitution versus Price Pressure and the Effects of Information on Share Prices," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(2), pages 179-211, April.
    10. Lerner, Josh, 1995. " Venture Capitalists and the Oversight of Private Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(1), pages 301-318, March.
    11. Grinblatt, Mark & Titman, Sheridan & Wermers, Russ, 1995. "Momentum Investment Strategies, Portfolio Performance, and Herding: A Study of Mutual Fund Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1088-1105, December.
    12. Paul Gompers & Josh Lerner, 1998. "Venture Capital Distributions: Short-Run and Long-Run Reactions," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 53(6), pages 2161-2183, December.
    13. Gompers, Paul & Lerner, Josh, 1999. "An analysis of compensation in the U.S. venture capital partnership," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 3-44, January.
    14. 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.
    15. Daniel Feenberg & Elisabeth Coutts, 1993. "An introduction to the TAXSIM model," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 189-194.
    16. Gompers, Paul A, 1995. " Optimal Investment, Monitoring, and the Staging of Venture Capital," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(5), pages 1461-1489, December.
    17. Megginson, William L & Weiss, Kathleen A, 1991. " Venture Capitalist Certification in Initial Public Offerings," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 46(3), pages 879-903, July.
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    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage

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