NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

How Do Legal Differences and Learning Affect Financial Contracts?

Steven N. Kaplan, Frederic Martel, Per Stromberg

NBER Working Paper No. 10097
Issued in November 2003
NBER Program(s):Corporate Finance

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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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10097

Published: Kaplan, Steve N., Fredric Martel, and Per Strömberg. “How Do Legal Differences and Learning Affect Financial Contracts?” Journal of Financial Intermediation, 2007.

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