Document Type

Working Paper

Publication Date

2000

Center/Program

Center for Law and Economic Studies

Center/Program

The Charles Evans Gerber Transactional Studies Center

Abstract

The United States has both an active venture capital industry and well-developed stock markets. Japan and Germany have neither. We argue here that this is no accident -- that venture capital can flourish especially -- and perhaps only -- if the venture capitalist can exit from a successful portfolio company through an initial public offering (IPO), which requires an active stock market. Understanding the link between the stock market and the venture capital market requires understanding the contractual arrangements between entrepreneurs and venture capital providers especially the importance of exit by venture capitalists and the opportunity, present only if IPO exit is possible, for the venture capitalist and the entrepreneur to enter into an implicit contract over control, in which a successful entrepreneur can reacquire control from the venture capitalist by using an IPO as the means of exit. Note: This article is a shortened version of Black and Gilson, "Venture Capital and the Structure of Capital Markets: Banks versus Stock Markets," Journal of Financial Economics, Vol. 47, pp. 243-277, 1998. A nearly final version of the longer article is available on SSRN at http://ssrn.com/abstract=46909

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