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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Essays in venture capital, entrepreneurship, and managerial success Du, Qianqian


The first chapter of my dissertation examines the preferences of venture capitalists for syndication partners. Heterogeneity among syndication partners may cause efficiency loss and increase transaction costs but offer syndication partners valuable learning opportunities in the long run, suggesting a tradeoff between the short-term costs versus long-term benefits. Using data on U.S. venture capital investments, I find that venture capital firms are less likely to syndicate with partners who are different from them. The preferences for syndication partners, however, have different implications for the portfolio companies and the venture capital firms. Companies funded by heterogeneous syndicates are less likely to go public or get acquired by other companies. However, venture capital firms that co-invest with more heterogeneous partners are more likely to survive. This paper develops a new method for empirically examining the formation of syndication among multiple firms. It also addresses issues of endogeneity. In the second chapter, we develop an economic framework which articulates the impact of the quality of legal protection offered to investors on the incentives of start-up founders to recruit partners or opt for sole ownership. The theoretical analysis predicts that a positive relationship is likely to exist between the quality of the legal system and ownership concentration of start-ups. This prediction is supported by the data obtained from the Adult Population Survey of the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor project between 2001 and 2004. The third chapter finds that the number of CEOs born in summer is disproportionately small, and firms with summer born CEOs have higher market valuation. Our evidence is consistent with the “relative-age effect” due to school admissions grouping together children with age differences up to one year, with summer-born children disadvantaged throughout life by being younger than non-summer-born classmates. Those younger children who nevertheless succeed have to be particularly capable.

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