NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

What Drives Venture Capital Fundraising?

Paul A. Gompers, Josh Lerner

NBER Working Paper No. 6906
Issued in January 1999
NBER Program(s):   CF   PR

We examine the determinants of venture capital fundraising in the U.S. over the past twenty-five years. We study industry aggregate, state-level, and firm-specific fundraising to determine if macroeconomic, regulatory, or performance factors affect venture capital activity. We find that shifts in demand for venture capital appear to have a positive and important impact on commitments to new venture capital funds. Commitments by taxable and tax-exempt investors seem equally sensitive to changes in capital gains tax rates that decreases in capital gains tax rates increase the demand for venture capital as more workers are incented to become entrepreneurs. Aggregate and state level venture fundraising are positively affected by easing of pension investment restrictions as well as industrial and academic R&D expenditures. Fund performance and reputation also lead to greater fundraising by venture organizations.

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Published: Brookings Papers on Economic Activity: Macroeconomics (1998): 149-192.

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