Theses Doctoral

Field Experiments in Entrepreneurial Finance

Zhang, Ye

The thesis develops a series of field experiments on both the investor side and the startup side to understand both investors' investment preferences and entrepreneurs' collaboration preferences in the U.S. entrepreneurial financing system. On the investor side, Chapter 1 studies whether early stage investors are biased against female, Asian, and older startup founders using two complementary field experiments consisting of a correspondence test and an incentivized resume (IRR) rating experiment.

Chapter 2 provides causal evidence of investors' general investment preferences for multiple startup characteristics, including both the human capital characteristics and the non-human capital characteristics, using the same experimental design. On the startup side, Chapter 3 studies whether startup founders are biased against female and Asian investors using a symmetric IRR experiment. Chapter 4 investigates how investor's human capital characteristics and funds' organizational capital characteristics affect founders' collaboration interest, which explains VC funds' performances through attraction of potential deal flows. These experiments constitute a field experimental system in the two-sided matching market, providing crucial causal evidence addressing several fundamental questions in the entrepreneurial finance literature.

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Hong, Harrison G.
Willis, Jack J.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
June 16, 2021