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Private Equity and Long-Run Investment: The Case of Innovation

Josh Lerner

Harvard Business School - Finance Unit; Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Morten Sorensen

Copenhagen Business School; Columbia Business School; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Per Strömberg

Swedish House of Finance

December 2008

NBER Working Paper No. w14623

A long-standing controversy is whether LBOs relieve managers from short-term pressures from public shareholders, or whether LBO funds themselves are driven by short-term profit motives and sacrifice long-term growth to boost short-term performance. We investigate 495 transactions with a focus on one form of long-term activities, namely investments in innovation as measured by patenting activity. We find no evidence that LBOs are associated with a decrease in these activities. Relying on standard measures of patent quality, we find that patents granted to firms involved in private equity transactions are more cited (a proxy for economic importance), show no significant shifts in the fundamental nature of the research, and are more concentrated in the most important and prominent areas of companies' innovative portfolios.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 50

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Date posted: January 15, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Lerner, Josh and Sorensen, Morten and Strömberg, Per, Private Equity and Long-Run Investment: The Case of Innovation (December 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14623. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1327245

Contact Information

Josh Lerner (Contact Author)
Harvard Business School - Finance Unit ( email )
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6065 (Phone)
617-496-7357 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.people.hbs.edu/jlerner/
Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit
Cambridge, MA 02163
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
Morten Sørensen
Copenhagen Business School ( email )
Solbjerg Plads 3
Frederiksberg C, DK - 2000
Columbia Business School ( email )
3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
Per Stromberg
Swedish House of Finance ( email )
Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm

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