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Essays On The Valuation And Syndication Of Venture Capital Investments

Working Paper | HBS Working Paper Series | 2018

Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity: Reply to Ayash and Rastad

Steven J. Davis, John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ron S. Jarmin, Josh Lerner and Javier Miranda

Ayash and Rastad (2017) express several concerns about our 2014 analysis of private equity buyouts. We welcome their interest in our work but think their criticisms are off the mark. Some of their claims reflect a misunderstanding of the Census Bureau’s Longitudinal Business Database (LBD) and its underlying data inputs. Because the LBD has emerged as a major laboratory for empirical studies in economics and finance, we use this opportunity to reiterate and clarify some of its important features. In a similar spirit, we elaborate on steps taken to develop our large sample of private equity buyouts. We also address Ayash and Rastad’s remarks about the empirical design of our establishment-level analysis, our methods for distinguishing between leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and other private equity transactions, bankruptcy rates among firms acquired in LBOs, their assertion that we undercount large public-to-private LBOs, and other matters.

Keywords: Private Equity; Leveraged Buyouts; Jobs and Positions; Performance Productivity;


Davis, Steven J., John Haltiwanger, Kyle Handley, Ron S. Jarmin, Josh Lerner, and Javier Miranda. "Private Equity, Jobs, and Productivity: Reply to Ayash and Rastad." Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 18-074, January 2018.  View Details

Venture Capital firms (VCs), compared with other sources of financing, are known to be a value-adding source of finance for high-growth entrepreneurial firms. Venture capital has transitioned from a local to an international subject in recent years. In this thesis , I address three important aspects of the international venture capital research area. In the first essay, I answer these questions: do venture capital firms decide to invest in a cross-border company based solely on their own international experience, or do they also decide based on other venture capital firms’ behaviour in investing in that country? I address these questions by investigating vicarious and experiential learning in the venture capital context, focusing on US cross-border venture capital investment data from 2000 to 2013. The analysis indicates that, on average, venture capital firms use both experiential and vicarious learning strategies in making their cross-border investment decisions. Moreover, the effect of experiential learning is greater than that of vicarious learning, and a venture capital firm’s size moderates this effect. In the second essay, I answer this question: do government venture capital funds crowd-in or crowd-out international private venture capital investment? The crowding-in effect arises when international private venture capital benefits from government subsidies through the enhancement of an entrepreneurial ecosystem and investment syndication. The crowding-out effect arises when government venture capital competes with private venture capital, bidding up deal prices and lowering returns, thereby spurring local private venture capitalists to invest internationally. I examine data from 26 countries from 1998 to 2013. The analysis indicates that, on average, more mixed-structured government venture capital investments than pure-structured government investments in a country crowds-in domestic and foreign private venture capitalists internationally. Moreover, the effect of both structures is greater on domestic private venture capitalists than on foreign ones. In the third essay, I investigate whether government venture capital practices in Canada promote a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem, by analyzing the effect of these practices on domestic and cross-border venture capital investments by private venture capital firms separately. I research the following two questions in parallel: a) Does Canadian government venture capital investment attract private venture capital firms to invest in the domestic market? b) Does Canadian government venture capital investment lead to, or prevent, domestic private venture capital firms from investing in other countries? I find that Canadian government venture capital investment has no measurable impact on private venture capital firms’ decisions to invest in the domestic market. I also find that certain of the Canadian government’s venture capital programs have displaced private venture capital, although with negligible impact, towards cross-border VC markets, primarily to the United States.