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Adoptive Expectations: Rising Sons in Japanese Family Firms

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  • Vikas Mehrotra
  • Randall Morck
  • Jungwook Shim
  • Yupana Wiwattanakantang

Abstract

The practice of adopting adults, even if one has biological children, makes Japanese family firms unusually competitive. Our nearly population-wide panel of postwar listed nonfinancial firms shows inherited family firms more important in postwar Japan than generally realized, and also performing well – an unusual finding for a developed economy. Adopted heirs’ firms outperform blood heirs’ firms, and match or nearly match founder-run listed firms. Both adopted and blood heirs’ firms outperform non-family firms. Using family structure variables as instruments, we find adopted heirs “causing” elevated performance. These findings are consistent with adult adoptees displacing blood heirs in the left tail of the talent distribution, with the “adopted son” job motivating star managers, and with the threat of displacement inducing blood heirs to invest in human capital, mitigating the so-called “Carnegie conjecture” that inherited wealth deadens talent.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16874.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16874

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Joern, Block & Peter, Jaskiewicz & Danny, Miller, 2010. "Ownership versus Management Effects on Performance in Family and Founder Companies: A Bayesian Analysis," MPRA Paper 23526, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Lloyd Steier, 2009. "Familial capitalism in global institutional contexts: Implications for corporate governance and entrepreneurship in East Asia," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 26(3), pages 513-535, September.
  3. Pramodita Sharma & Jess Chua, 2013. "Asian family enterprises and family business research," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 641-656, September.
  4. Shim, Jungwook & Okamuro, Hiroyuki, 2011. "Does ownership matter in mergers? A comparative study of the causes and consequences of mergers by family and non-family firms," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 193-203, January.
  5. Block, Joern H. & Jaskiewicz, Peter & Miller, Danny, 2011. "Ownership versus management effects on performance in family and founder companies: A Bayesian reconciliation," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 232-245.
  6. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Vincenzo Lombardo & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Family connections and entrepreneurial human capital: The uncertain destiny of proprietary capitalism," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 89, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.

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