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Updating History

44 Pages Posted: 3 Dec 2011 Last revised: 15 Mar 2012

Rüdiger Stucke

University of Oxford - Said Business School

Date Written: December 1, 2011


The Thomson VentureXpert database has been used for over two decades by practitioners and academics to benchmark and judge the performance of private equity and venture capital. A closer look at aggregated and individual figures, however, reveals severe anomalies in the underlying data which are the result of ceasing data updates. Since existing errors have a systematic and persistent character, they do not just increase noise but result in a significant downward bias of presented performances. Consequently, many empirical results established using this database may not be replicable with correct data. In particular, the claim that private equity has not outperformed public equity is unlikely to hold with true numbers.

Keywords: private equity, venture capital, performance measurement, forensic finance, data integrity

JEL Classification: G11, G14, G15, G24, G34

Suggested Citation

Stucke, Rüdiger, Updating History (December 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Rüdiger Stucke (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Said Business School ( email )

Park End Street
Oxford, OX1 1HP
Great Britain

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