How Do Legal Differences and Learning Affect Financial Contracts?
38 Pages Posted: 17 Nov 2003 Last revised: 5 Aug 2021
Date Written: November 2003
We analyze venture capital (VC) investments in twenty-three non-U.S. countries and compare them to VC investments in the U.S. We describe how the contracts allocate cash flow, board, liquidation, and other control rights. In univariate analyses, contracts differ across legal regimes. At the same time, however, more experienced VCs implement U.S.-style contracts regardless of legal regime. In most specifications, legal regime becomes insignificant controlling for VC sophistication. VCs who use U.S.-style contracts fail significantly less often. Financial contracting theories in the presence of fixed costs of learning, therefore, appear to explain contracts along a wide range of legal regimes.
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