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Family firms’ investments, uncertainty and opacity

Author

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  • Magda Bianco
  • Maria Bontempi
  • Roberto Golinelli
  • Giuseppe Parigi

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on family firms in two ways. First, it focuses on a largely neglected but important issue of family firms’ investment decisions. Second, it uses a novel and rich data set about Italian private firms; this complements the literature, which typically focuses on publicly traded companies, in an important way, given that most family firms are private and relatively little information is available on their behaviour. Our results suggest that family firms’ investments are significantly more sensitive to uncertainty than nonfamily firms. We find evidence that the greater sensitivity to uncertainty is basically due to the greater opacity of family firms and to their higher risk aversion, rather than to the degree of sunk fixed capital as is typical in the literature on investment decisions. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Magda Bianco & Maria Bontempi & Roberto Golinelli & Giuseppe Parigi, 2013. "Family firms’ investments, uncertainty and opacity," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 40(4), pages 1035-1058, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:sbusec:v:40:y:2013:i:4:p:1035-1058
    DOI: 10.1007/s11187-012-9414-3
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Family firms; Investments; Uncertainty; Capital irreversibility; Opacity; D22; E22; C23; G32; L26;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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