This chapter summarizes recent research on the role of law, culture and corruption on venture capital (VC) fund structure, governance and performance. Evidence from studies that involve a multitude of countries is primarily considered. The evidence across most studies is broadly consistent with the view that legal protection enables superior compensation arrangements in limited partnerships where the interests of general partners and limited partners is aligned. More corrupt countries, by contrast, have less efficient compensation structures. The evidence further indicates that better legal systems facilitate contract performance. Finally, the evidence show countries with higher levels of corruption have higher levels of returns, suggesting that fund managers are able to alleviate the effects of corruption in investee companies. In our concluding comments we discuss venture capital around the world and its future development in relation to law, corruption and culture.
- Venture Capital
- Legal Condition
- Institutional Investor
- Private Equity
- Power Distance
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http://www.sjberwin.com/latestpublicationdetails.aspx?title=privateequitycomment; On the political and economic debate see, for example, discussion of the regulation after the mid-2007 financial crisis in The Economist, 19 November 2009, “Europe’s War on Hedge Funds”.
We acknowledge that an alternative interpretation of a positive association between corruption and private equity returns could be that private equity fund managers are themselves “corrupt” (i.e. expropriate rents) and able to take advantage of investee firms in more corrupt economies. The empirical tests in Cumming et al. (2010) include a number of transaction specific variables that account for this view.
Hofstede’s five dimensions of culture. The dimensions are: Small vs. large power distance, Individualism vs. Collectivism, Masculinity vs. Femininity, Weak vs. strong uncertainty avoidance and Long vs. short term orientation. Power Distance Index (PDI) is the extent to which the less powerful members of organizations and institutions (like the family) accept and expect that power is distributed unequally. This represents inequality (more versus less), but defined from below, not from above. It suggests that a society’s level of inequality is endorsed by the followers as much as by the leaders. Power and inequality, of course, are extremely fundamental facts of any society and anybody with some international experience will be aware that ‘all societies are unequal, but some are more unequal than others’. Individualism (IDV) on the one side versus its opposite, collectivism, is the degree to which individuals are integrated into groups. On the individualist side we find societies in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to look after him/herself and his/her immediate family. On the collectivist side, we find societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive in-groups, often extended families (with uncles, aunts and grandparents) which continue protecting them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty. The word ‘collectivism’ in this sense has no political meaning: it refers to the group, not to the state. Again, the issue addressed by this dimension is an extremely fundamental one, regarding all societies in the world. Masculinity (MAS) versus its opposite, femininity, refers to the distribution of roles between the genders which is another fundamental issue for any society to which a range of solutions are found. The IBM studies revealed that (a) women’s values differ less among societies than men’s values; (b) men’s values from one country to another contain a dimension from very assertive and competitive and maximally different from women’s values on the one side, to modest and caring and similar to women’s values on the other. The assertive pole has been called ‘masculine’ and the modest, caring pole ‘feminine’. The women in feminine countries have the same modest, caring values as the men; in the masculine countries they are somewhat assertive and competitive, but not as much as the men, so that these countries show a gap between men’s values and women’s values. Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) deals with a society’s tolerance for uncertainty and ambiguity; it ultimately refers to man’s search for Truth. It indicates to what extent a culture programs its members to feel either uncomfortable or comfortable in unstructured situations. Unstructured situations are novel, unknown, surprising, different from usual. Uncertainty avoiding cultures try to minimize the possibility of such situations by strict laws and rules, safety and security measures, and on the philosophical and religious level by a belief in absolute Truth; ‘there can only be one Truth and we have it’. People in uncertainty avoiding countries are also more emotional, and motivated by inner nervous energy. The opposite type, uncertainty accepting cultures, are more tolerant of opinions different from what they are used to; they try to have as few rules as possible, and on the philosophical and religious level they are relativist and allow many currents to flow side by side. People within these cultures are more phlegmatic and contemplative, and not expected by their environment to express emotions. Source: http://www.geert-hofstede.com/
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Cumming, D., Fleming, G., Johan, S., Najar, D. (2013). Law and Corruption in Venture Capital and Private Equity. In: Cressy, R., Cumming, D., Mallin, C. (eds) Entrepreneurship, Finance, Governance and Ethics. Advances in Business Ethics Research, vol 3. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3867-6_5
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