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Columbia Law School

Law and Economics

Incomplete contracting

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Engineering A Venture Capital Market: Lessons From The American Experience, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2003

Engineering A Venture Capital Market: Lessons From The American Experience, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

The venture capital market and firms whose creation and early stages were financed by venture capital are among the crown jewels of the American economy. Beyond representing an important engine of macroeconomic growth and job creation, these firms have been a major force in commercializing cutting-edge science, whether through their impact on existing industries as with the radical changes in pharmaceuticals catalyzed by venture-backed firms' commercialization of biotechnology, or by their role in developing entirely new industries as with the emergence of the Internet and World Wide Web. The venture capital market thus provides a unique link between finance and ...


Engineering A Venture Capital Market: Lessons From The American Experience, Ronald J. Gilson Jan 2002

Engineering A Venture Capital Market: Lessons From The American Experience, Ronald J. Gilson

Faculty Scholarship

This paper seeks to identify the core of the U.S. venture capital contracting model, and then assess the extent to which the model provides guidance in engineering venture capital markets in other countries and, in particular, in identifying a viable role for government in assisting that project. All financial contracts respond to three central contracting problems: uncertainty, information asymmetry and opportunism in the form of agency costs. The special character of venture capital contracting is shaped by the fact that investing in early stage, high technology companies presents these problems in extreme form. The genius of U.S. venture ...