Our Research Strategy
At IPC, data, research and education improve understanding of the role of private capital in the global economy. An essential first step for generating quality research is access to reliable data. Thus, our top priority is making research-quality data sources widely available to academic researchers.
Access to data on private investments presents challenges, including confidentiality concerns, the proprietary nature of many datasets, and the diffuse nature of private investments. However, we believe that these challenges are best addressed by a deliberate systematic approach through a combined academic effort. In many cases, data owners welcome the benefits derived from confidential analysis of their data by objective academic researchers.
IPC currently focuses on three research areas:
The Future of Private Equity – PERC Roundtable
At IPC's May 2021 Private Equity Research Symposium, a roundtable discussion convened to discuss the Future of Private Equity. The academic discussion featured Tim Jenkinson (Oxford University’s Saïd Business School), Bob Harris (UVA's Darden School of Business), Victoria Ivashina (Harvard Business School), and Per Stromberg (Stockholm School of Economics). Our industry panel featured Petra Bukovec (Panetheon), Alex Rogers (HarbourVest), and Frank McKinniry (Vanguard). More
Capital Structure and Leverage in Private Equity Buyouts
A new study designed to shed light on the various kinds of debt now used to finance buyout transactions, and to provide some current insights on the profitability and leverage of such transactions using newly available data. Authors: Greg Brown (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Robert Harris (University of Virginia), and Shawn Munday (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). More
Does Private Equity Over-Lever Portfolio Companies?
This paper develops a dynamic trade-off model where a firm’s capital structure and default decisions are made by the PE fund manager. PE-ownership can endogenously change tax benefits of debt and expected cost of financial distress though differences in (i) asset volatility (ii) expected future return and (iii) deadweight bankruptcy costs. I find the estimated model is able to explain both the level and change in leverage ratios documented empirically following LBOs, driven primarily by changes in the portfolio company hypothesized above. More
Investment with Social Impact: Evidence from Commercial Real Estate Investment by Public Pension Funds
This paper studies whether and how investments by public pension funds result in a different social impact, measured by employment growth, relative to investments by other large investors. Using commercial real estate (CRE) investments as a laboratory, I compare direct pension fund CRE investments to a counterfactual of real estate private equity (REPE) CRE investments. More
How Do Financial Expertise and Networks Affect Investing? Evidence from University Endowments
We examine the links between human capital and endowment investing. Harnessing detailed information on university endowments, we find that higher asset allocations to alternative assets accompany higher levels of human capital in the endowment’s investment process. Moreover, high levels of human capital are linked to larger returns, even on a risk-adjusted basis. More
The Work-at-Home Technology Boon and its Consequences
We study the impact of widespread adoption of work-from-home (WFH) technology using an equilibrium model where people choose where to live, how to allocate their time between working at home and at the office, and how much space to use in production. More
Hedge Funds and the Treasury Cash-Futures Disconnect
We document the rise and fall of an arbitrage trade among hedge funds known as the Treasury cash-futures basis trade. This trade exploited a fundamental disconnect between cash and futures prices of Treasuries. We show that in recent years a replicating portfolio of Treasury bills and futures has been overvalued relative to Treasury notes and bonds, creating an opportunity for arbitrageurs. More
The Hedge Fund Industry is Bigger (and has Performed Better) Than You Think
Of first-order importance to the study of potential systemic risks in hedge funds is the aggregate size of the industry. The worldwide hedge fund industry has been estimated by regulators and industry experts as having total net assets under management of $2.3–3.7 trillion as of the end of 2016. More
Job Growth from Opportunity Zones
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 established a new program called Opportunity Zones (OZs) that created tax advantages for investing in businesses or real estate in a limited number of low-income Census tracts. We use a census of establishment-level data on employment to identify the effect of the program on job creation. More
Private Investments in Diversified Portfolios
We study the impact of including private investment funds into diversified portfolios that otherwise hold only public stocks and bonds. Our analysis uses a large sample of 3,380 U.S. buyout, venture capital, and real estate funds to simulate portfolios from 1987 to 2018 that substitute part of the public equity allocation with private funds. More