NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Tim Jenkinson

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Working Papers and Chapters

February 2012Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know?
with Robert S. Harris, Steven N. Kaplan: w17874
We present evidence on the performance of nearly 1400 U.S. private equity (buyout and venture capital) funds using a new research-quality dataset from Burgiss, sourced from over 200 institutional investors. Using detailed cash-flow data, we compare buyout and venture capital returns to the returns produced by public markets. We also compare the evidence from Burgiss to that derived from other commercial datasets – Venture Economics, Preqin and Cambridge Associates – as well as recent research. We find better buyout fund performance than has previously been documented. This in part reflects recently discovered problems with data provided by Venture Economics, upon which several previous studies had relied. Average U.S. buyout fund performance has exceeded that of public markets for most vi...
April 2010Borrow Cheap, Buy High? The Determinants of Leverage and Pricing in Buyouts
with Ulf Axelson, Per Strömberg, Michael S. Weisbach: w15952
This paper provides an empirical analysis of the financial structure of large buyouts. We collect detailed information on the financing of 1157 worldwide private equity deals from 1980 to 2008. Buyout leverage is cross-sectionally unrelated to the leverage of matched public firms, and is largely driven by factors other than what explains leverage in public firms. In particular, the economy-wide cost of borrowing is the main driver of both the quantity and the composition of debt in these buyouts. Credit conditions also have a strong effect on prices paid in buyouts, even after controlling for prices of equivalent public market companies. Finally, the use of high leverage in transactions negatively affects fund performance, controlling for fund vintage and other relevant characteristics...

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