NBER Working Papers by Robert S. Harris

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

Working Papers

February 2012Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know?
with Tim Jenkinson, 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...

Private Equity Performance: What Do We Know?” with Robert Harris and Tim Jenkinson, Journal of Finance, forthcoming. citation courtesy of

December 1987Means of Payment in Takeovers: Results for the U.K. and U.S.
with Julian Franks, Colin Mayer: w2456
This paper examines means of payment in over 2,500 acquisitions in the UK and US over the period 1955 to 1985. Data on financing proportions, bid premia and postmerger performance are used to test the validity of tax and information hypotheses. It is difficult to explain many of the results in terms of tax effects. Capital gains tax does not appear to be a primary determinant of financing patterns in the UK in a period in which there were substantial variations in the tax rate. As well the tax motivated "trapped equity" model is inconsistent with several observations on financing patterns. In both countries much larger acquiree bid premia are associated with cash than equity bids, consistent with information models suggesting that high valuing bidders make cash offers and low valuing bidde...

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

NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us