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Project Citation: 

Korteweg, Arthur, and Sensoy, Berk. Data and Code for: How Unique is VC’s American History? Nashville, TN: American Economic Association [publisher], 2023. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2023-02-23.

Project Description

Summary:  View help for Summary VC: An American History offers a compelling chronicle of the development of professional venture capital (VC) in the United States, from VC-like forebearers as diverse as 18th century cotton manufacturing and 19th century whaling up to the state of the modern VC market at the turn of the millennium. The book emphasizes America’s enduring advantage in venture capital as a consequence of these early developments and as a practical governance solution for investing in the long-tailed returns of risky new ventures. In this essay we discuss similar historical precedent and governance arrangements in the spice trading voyages of the 16th and 17th century Dutch Republic, calling into question the uniqueness of the early American VC ancestors. Moreover, far from being a distinguishing feature of early ventures, long-tailed returns exist even in public equities, suggesting that the VC governance structure is about more than the distribution of returns. We conclude that the reasons for American dominance of contemporary VC remain unclear. Picking up where the book leaves off, we summarize facts and trends in 21st century venture capital.

Scope of Project

Subject Terms:  View help for Subject Terms Venture capital; startup companies; economic history
JEL Classification:  View help for JEL Classification
      G24 Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage; Ratings and Ratings Agencies
      M13 New Firms; Startups
      N20 Economic History: Financial Markets and Institutions: General, International, or Comparative
      O16 Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
      O31 Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
Geographic Coverage:  View help for Geographic Coverage The Netherlands
Time Period(s):  View help for Time Period(s) 1602 – 1613; 1602 – 1794
Universe:  View help for Universe Dutch East India Company voyages to Asia
Data Type(s):  View help for Data Type(s) aggregate data; program source code


Unit(s) of Observation:  View help for Unit(s) of Observation Dutch East India Company voyages to Asia

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