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Market opportunities and owner identity: Are family firms different?

  • Cucculelli, Marco
  • Marchionne, Francesco

We test the hypothesis that ownership of a firm does not affect the firm's ability to seize market opportunities once decisions about productive structure are taken into account. By grouping firms in size clusters having a similar distance between the actual and the optimal size, we assess how the sensitivity of a firm's sales to market demand changes in response to differences in the owner's identity. We use data from a panel of 4696 continental western European firms over the period 1995–2010 and Eurostat 3-digit sectoral data on firm size distribution. Empirical evidence rejects the hypothesis of ownership irrelevance: family firms are less sensitive to market demand than other firms, in particular when the actual size of the firm is larger than optimal and in the case of both founder- and heir-run family firms.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Corporate Finance.

Volume (Year): 18 (2012)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 476-495

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Handle: RePEc:eee:corfin:v:18:y:2012:i:3:p:476-495
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jcorpfin

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