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And the children shall lead: Gender diversity and performance in venture capital

Working paper #839
Sophie Calder-Wang and Paul A. Gompers

Abstract

Given overall lack of gender diversity in the venture capital and entrepreneurship industry shown in Calder-Wang and Gompers (2017) we ask: What promotes greater gender diversity in hiring? Does diversity lead to better firm performance and higher investment returns? In this paper, using a unique dataset of the gender of venture capital partners’ children, we find strong evidence that when partners have more daughters, the propensity to hire female partners increases. Moreover, our instrumental variable results suggest that increased gender diversity improves deal and fund performance. Lastly, the effects are primarily driven by the gender of senior partners’ children.

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