Performance and Behaviour of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market
AbstractWe look at the corporate performance of family firms listed on the French stock exchange between 1994 and 2000. On the French stock market, approximately one third of the firms are widely held, another third are founder controlled and the remaining third are heir-controlled family firms. We find that, in cross section, family firms largely outperform widely held corporations. This result holds for founder-controlled firms, but more surprisingly also for heir-managed firms. To explain this, we provide evidence consistent with the fact that, because of their different time horizons, heir-managed corporations have a comparative advantage when enforcing implicit insurance contracts with their labour force. More specifically, we find that: (1) employment in heir-managed firms is less sensitive to industry shocks; and (2) heirs pay lower wages. Finally, we discuss issues related to the endogeneity of performance/family regressions looking both at delisting and transitions from family to non-family status. We conclude that these issues may lead us to overestimate the performance of heirs compared to professionally-managed firms, but to underestimate the performance of heirs when compared to widely held firms.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4520.
Date of creation: Aug 2004
Date of revision:
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Other versions of this item:
- David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2007. "Performance and Behavior of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(4), pages 709-751, 06.
- David Sraer & David Thesmar, 2004. "Performance and Behavior of Family Firms : Evidence from the French Stock Market," Working Papers 2004-24, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
- D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- L21 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Business Objectives of the Firm
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-02-13 (All new papers)
- NEP-FIN-2005-02-13 (Finance)
- NEP-FMK-2005-02-13 (Financial Markets)
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