Abstract

We study whether venture capital firms with higher status and reputation are more risk tolerant due to their position in the field as opposed to lower status venture firms which might be more risk averse, due to less proven capabilities. We explore this possibility by considering whether or not role incongruity and gender stereotyping by venture capital firms lead to perceptions of women entrepreneurs as more risky investments. Results show that VC firm status produces a difference in risk tolerance and risk aversion in terms of investments in companies with women entrepreneurs, with higher status firms more likely to invest in women entrepreneurs. In addition, we find that companies with women CEOs are likely to be older and bigger and receive lower valuations than companies with men CEOs.

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