Description: Prior literature suggests two competing theories regarding the role of venture capitalists (VCs) in their portfolio companies. The VC monitoring hypothesis argues that VCs effectively resolve the managerial agency problem through close monitoring and restraining managers' earnings management behavior. The VC moral hazard hypothesis argues that VCs aggravate the private benefits agency problem by exerting influence over managers to artificially inflate exit stock price through earnings management. Using a sample of IPO firms between 1987 and 2002, after controlling for the magnitude of accruals manipulation (AM), I compare the magnitude of real activities manipulation (RM) between venture-backed and non-venture-backed companies. I find that relative to non-venture-backed companies, venture-backed companies show significantly less RM in the first post-IPO fiscal year. The results are robust after controlling for the VC selection endogeneity. The finding supports the VC monitoring hypothesis that VCs restrain managers' RM behavior. Furthermore, I document that venture-backed companies exhibit a significant difference from non-venture-backed companies only in the first post-IPO fiscal year. The difference between the two groups in either the IPO year or the second post-IPO fiscal year is not significant, or at best, is weak. This finding is consistent with the argument that VCs tighten their control during the lockup expiration period when insiders such as managers or founders have strong incentives to inflate earnings. By the end of the second post-IPO fiscal year when VCs exit the portfolio companies, their impact on portfolio companies' RM decreases dramatically which makes the difference between the two groups less significant. In addition, using a sample of venture-backed IPOs from 1987 to 2002, I find that companies backed by high-reputation VCs show significantly less RM than those backed by low-reputation VCs in the first post-IPO fiscal year. The results are robust to alternative VC reputation proxies. This finding is consistent ...
Date: December 2009
Creator: Liu, Xiang
Item Type: Thesis or Dissertation