Impact Investing

We document that investors derive nonpecuniary utility from investing in dual-objective venture/growth equity funds, thus sacrificing financial returns. In reduced form, impact funds earn 4.7% lower IRRs compared to traditional VC funds. Likewise, random utility/willingness-to-pay (WTP) models of investment choice indicate investors accept 3.4% lower IRRs for impact funds. We rule out alternative interpretations of risk, liquidity, and naiveté. Development organizations, banks, public pensions, Europeans, and UNPRI signatories have high WTP; endowments and private pensions have none. Mission-oriented objectives and local political pressure increase WTP; legal restrictions (e.g., ERISA) decrease WTP.