Dan Wang

Who learns from whom? Asymmetric learning in Chinese cross-border investment syndicates, 1991-2011

Abstract:
In emerging markets, foreign and domestic investors often co-invest to learn from one another. I use an original dataset that chronicles the syndication network of cross-border venture capital (VC) and private equity (PE) investment in China over 20 years to analyze the direction of learning between foreign and domestic VC/PE firms. Adapting a novel form of dynamic dyadic analysis, I find that domestic (i.e., China-based) VC/PEs influence foreign VC/PEs in terms of the geographic focus of the foreign VC/PEs' future investments in China whereas foreign VC/PEs influence domestic VC/PEs in terms of the industry focus of domestic VC/PEs' future investments. I also find that although most knowledge transfer occurs from domestic to foreign VC/PEs in the early stages of China?s VC/PE market development, the direction reverses in the later stages of development. I situate my arguments within social exchange theory and develop theoretical explanations using work on organizational identity and uncertainty. The findings contribute to research on organizational learning, emerging markets, and inter-organizational network analysis.

Exact Citation:
Wang, Dan. "Who learns from whom? Asymmetric learning in Chinese cross-border investment syndicates, 1991-2011." Columbia Business School, 2014.
Date: 2014