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Venture capital in Europe: social capital, formal institutions and mediation effects

Luca Grilli (), Boris Mrkajic and Gresa Latifi
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Boris Mrkajic: Politecnico di Milano
Gresa Latifi: Politecnico di Milano

Small Business Economics, 2018, vol. 51, issue 2, 393-410

Abstract: Abstract Venture capital (VC) as an industry has existed for more than 50 years, yet it has only moderately developed beyond the USA despite numerous trials of governments to foster it. Vast research endeavors have been carried out to understand the antecedents, barriers, and facilitators of the industry. However, the focus has been rather limited and accounted almost exclusively for formal features of institutional environments, leaving the informal dimensions unexplored. This paper tries to close that gap. Based on longitudinal country-level data on 18 European countries, we first explore if the “usual suspects,” mostly embodied in reformable formal institutions, do play a role in the European context. We also investigate if informal institutions, and in particular social capital, may exert a prominent effect. In this respect, we found that the impact of social capital on VC activity is indeed indirect, through determining those structural formal institutions which in turn significantly affect VC activity. These findings contribute to the literature on VC and inform European policy makers on the most promising channels for creating a prosperous institutional environment for the financing of innovative start-ups.

Keywords: Venture capital; Institutional theory; Formal institutions; Informal institutions; Social capital; Mediation effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G24 L26 O52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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