The Financing of Innovation

Learning and Stopping

D. Bergemann, U. Hege

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

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Abstract

This paper considers the financing of a research project under uncertainty about the time of completion and the probability of eventual success.The uncertainty about future success gradually diminishes with the arrival of additional funding.The entrepreneur controls the funds and can divert them.We distinguish between relationship financing, meaning that the entrepreneur's allocation of the funds is observable, and arm's length financing, where it is unobservable.We find that equilibrium funding stops altogether too early relative to the efficient stopping time in both financing modes.We characterize the optimal contracts and equilibrium funding decisions.The financial constraints will typically become tighter over time under relationship finance, and looser under arm's length financing.The trade-off is that while relationship financing may require smaller information rents, arm's length financing amounts to an implicit commitment to a finite funding horizon.The lack of such a commitment under relationship financing implies that the sustainable release of funds eventually slows down.We obtain the surprising result that arm's length contracts are preferable in a Pareto sense.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationTilburg
PublisherFinance
Number of pages43
Volume2001-16
Publication statusPublished - 2001

Publication series

NameCentER Discussion Paper
Volume2001-16

Fingerprint

Financing
Innovation
Funding
Entrepreneurs
Uncertainty
Stopping time
Finance
Pareto
Trade-offs
Financial constraints
Information rent
Optimal contract

Keywords

  • innovation
  • finance
  • venture capital
  • learning

Cite this

Bergemann, D., & Hege, U. (2001). The Financing of Innovation: Learning and Stopping. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2001-16). Tilburg: Finance.
Bergemann, D. ; Hege, U. / The Financing of Innovation : Learning and Stopping. Tilburg : Finance, 2001. (CentER Discussion Paper).
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Bergemann, D & Hege, U 2001 'The Financing of Innovation: Learning and Stopping' CentER Discussion Paper, vol. 2001-16, Finance, Tilburg.

The Financing of Innovation : Learning and Stopping. / Bergemann, D.; Hege, U.

Tilburg : Finance, 2001. (CentER Discussion Paper; Vol. 2001-16).

Research output: Working paperDiscussion paperOther research output

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AB - This paper considers the financing of a research project under uncertainty about the time of completion and the probability of eventual success.The uncertainty about future success gradually diminishes with the arrival of additional funding.The entrepreneur controls the funds and can divert them.We distinguish between relationship financing, meaning that the entrepreneur's allocation of the funds is observable, and arm's length financing, where it is unobservable.We find that equilibrium funding stops altogether too early relative to the efficient stopping time in both financing modes.We characterize the optimal contracts and equilibrium funding decisions.The financial constraints will typically become tighter over time under relationship finance, and looser under arm's length financing.The trade-off is that while relationship financing may require smaller information rents, arm's length financing amounts to an implicit commitment to a finite funding horizon.The lack of such a commitment under relationship financing implies that the sustainable release of funds eventually slows down.We obtain the surprising result that arm's length contracts are preferable in a Pareto sense.

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Bergemann D, Hege U. The Financing of Innovation: Learning and Stopping. Tilburg: Finance. 2001. (CentER Discussion Paper).