NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Susan E. Woodward

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

Working Papers and Chapters

May 2010Diagnosing Consumer Confusion and Sub-Optimal Shopping Effort: Theory and Mortgage-Market Evidence
with Robert E. Hall: w16007
Mortgage loans are leading examples of transactions where experts on one side of the market take advantage of consumers' lack of knowledge and experience. We study the compensation that borrowers pay to mortgage brokers for assistance from application to closing. Two findings support the conclusion that confused borrowers overpay for brokers' services: (1) A model of effective shopping shows that borrowers sacrifice at least $1,000 by shopping from too few brokers. (2) Borrowers who compensate their brokers with both cash and a commission from the lender pay twice as much as similar borrowers who pay no cash.

Published: Susan E. Woodward & Robert E. Hall, 2012. "Diagnosing Consumer Confusion and Sub-optimal Shopping Effort: Theory and Mortgage-Market Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3249-76, December. citation courtesy of

August 2008The Burden of the Nondiversifiable Risk of Entrepreneurship
with Robert E. Hall: w14219
In the standard venture capital contract, entrepreneurs have a large fraction of equity ownership in the companies they found and are paid a sub-market salary by the investors who provide the money to develop the idea. The big rewards come only to those whose companies go public or are acquired on favorable terms, forcing entrepreneurs to bear a substantial burden of idiosyncratic risk. We study this burden in the case of high-tech companies funded by venture capital. Over the past 20 years, the typical venture-backed entrepreneur earned an average of $4.4 million from companies that succeeded in attracting venture funding. Entrepreneurs with a coefficient of relative risk aversion of two and with less than $0.7 million would be better off in a salaried position than in a startup, despite ...

Published: Robert E. Hall & Susan E. Woodward, 2010. "The Burden of the Nondiversifiable Risk of Entrepreneurship," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(3), pages 1163-94, June. citation courtesy of

April 2007The Incentives to Start New Companies: Evidence from Venture Capital
with Robert E. Hall: w13056
The standard venture-capital contract rewards entrepreneurs only for creating successful companies that go public or are acquired on favorable terms. As a result, entrepreneurs receive no help from venture capital in avoiding the huge idiosyncratic risk of the typical venture-backed startup. Entrepreneurs earned an average of $9 million from each company that succeeded in attracting venture funding. But entrepreneurs are generally specialized in their own companies and bear the burden of the idiosyncratic risk. Entrepreneurs with a coefficient of relative risk aversion of two would be willing to sell their interests for less than $1 million at the outset rather than face that risk. The standard financial contract provides entrepreneurs capital supplied by passive investors and rewards entr...
January 2004Benchmarking the Returns to Venture
with Robert E. Hall: w10202
We describe a new index of the current and historical returns to venture-type capital. The conceptual basis for the index is the value of a continuously reinvested value-weighted portfolio of all venture-backed and similar pre-public companies. It provides a metric for private equity comparable to the S&P 500 for public equity. We build the index from valuations revealed in episodic transactions in the companies' shares - private placements of new rounds of equity funding, IPOs, acquisitions, and liquidations. Our approach to dealing with the episodic nature of the data is similar to the one used in constructing indexes of real-estate value from transaction data for individual properties. We have extended earlier sources of data to deal with selection bias - we tracked down unfavorable val...

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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