NBER Working Papers by Yael Hochberg

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Working Papers

October 2014Patent Collateral, Investor Commitment, and the Market for Venture Lending
with Carlos J. Serrano, Rosemarie H. Ziedonis: w20587
The use of debt to finance risky entrepreneurial-firm projects is rife with informational and contracting problems. Nonetheless, we document widespread lending to startups in three innovation-intensive sectors and in early stages of development. At odds with claims that the secondary patent market is too illiquid to shape debt financing, we find that intensified patent trading increases the annual rate of startup lending, particularly for startups with more redeployable (less firm-specific) patent assets. Exploiting differences in venture capital (VC) fundraising cycles and a negative capital-supply shock in early 2000, we also find that the credibility of VC commitments to refinance and grow fledgling companies is vital for such lending. Our study illuminates friction-reducing mechanisms ...
June 2011Local Overweighting and Underperformance: Evidence from Limited Partner Private Equity Investments
with Joshua D. Rauh: w17122
Institutional investors of all types exhibit substantial home-state bias when investing in private equity (PE) funds. This effect is particularly pronounced for public pension funds, where the local overweighting amounts to 9.7% of the private equity portfolio on average, based on 5-year rolling average benchmarks. Public pension funds' own-state investments perform significantly worse than their out-of-state investments, an average of 3-4 percentage points of net IRR per year, and those that that overweight their portfolios towards home-state investments also perform worse overall. These underperformance patterns are not evident for other types of institutional investors, such as endowments, foundations and corporate pension funds, and we do not observe similar overweighting or underperfo...

Published: Local Overweighting and Underperformance: Evidence from Limited Partner Private Equity Investments, 2013 (with Joshua Rauh), Review of Financial Studies, Vol. 26 No. 2

March 2007A Lobbying Approach to Evaluating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002
with Paola Sapienza, Annette Vissing-Jorgensen: w12952
We evaluate the net benefits of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) for shareholders by studying the lobbying behavior of investors and corporate insiders to affect the final implemented rules under the Act. Investors lobbied overwhelmingly in favor of strict implementation of SOX, while corporate insiders and business groups lobbied against strict implementation. We identify the firms most affected by the law as those whose insiders lobbied against strict implementation, and compare their returns to the returns of less affected firms. Cumulative returns during the four and a half months leading up to passage of SOX were approximately 10 percent higher for corporations whose insiders lobbied against one or more of the SOX disclosure-related provisions than for similar non-lobbying firms. Analysis...

Published: Yael V. Hochberg & Paola Sapienza & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2009. "A Lobbying Approach to Evaluating the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002," Journal of Accounting Research, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(2), pages 519-583, 05. citation courtesy of

May 2006Is IPO Underperformance a Peso Problem?
with Andrew Ang, Li Gu: w12203
Recent studies suggest that the underperformance of IPOs in the post-1970 sample may be a small sample effect or %u201CPeso%u201D problem. That is, IPO underperformance may result from observing too few star performers ex-post than were expected ex-ante. We develop a model of IPO performance that captures this intuition by allowing returns to be drawn from mixtures of outstanding, benchmark, or poor performing states. We estimate the model under the null of no ex-ante average IPO underperformance and construct small sample distributions of various statistics measuring IPO relative performance. We find that small sample biases are extremely unlikely to account for the magnitude of the post-1970 IPO underperformance observed in data.

Published: Ang, Andrew, Li Gu and Yael Hochberg. “Is IPO Underperformance a Peso Problem?” Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis 42, 3 (2007): 565-594. citation courtesy of

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