59 Pages Posted: 24 Dec 2019 Last revised: 12 Mar 2021
Date Written: December 2019
We document that investors derive nonpecuniary utility from investing in dual-objective VC funds, thus sacrificing returns. Impact funds earn 4.7 percentage points (ppts) lower IRRs ex post than traditional VC funds. In random utility/willingness-to-pay (WTP) models investors accept 2.5-3.7 ppts lower IRRs ex ante for impact funds. The positive WTP result is robust to fund access rationing and investor heterogeneity in fund expected returns. Development organizations, foundations, financial institutions, public pensions, Europeans, and UNPRI signatories have high WTP. Investors with mission objectives and/or facing political pressure exhibit high WTP; those subject to legal restrictions (e.g., ERISA) exhibit low WTP.
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