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Entrepreneurship, Inherited Control and Firm Performance in Italian SMEs

  • Marco CUCCULELLI

    ()

    (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Management ed Organizzazione Aziendale)

  • Giacinto MICUCCI

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia - Ancona)

Despite the pervasive presence of family business worldwide, especially among small and medium sized companies, nearly all past studies on family founder succession have focused on large, public companies. We evaluate the issue of the inherited firm control on performance in an economic setting with a large presence of small- and medium-sized private firms run as family businesses. Our paper contributes to the existing literature in three ways. The first concerns the sample characteristics. By focusing on the transfer of business in private SMEs, our study helps to fill a gap in the existing literature that is largely concerned with public companies listed in official market. We set up a unique dataset by matching two different data sources: firstly, a cross-sectional survey dataset collected directly from more than 3,500 companies by means of a questionnaire and, secondly, a company account dataset drawn from Cerved. We merge survey data with balance sheet data in order to perform the econometric analysis. The article's second contribution is related to the effect on performance caused by the transfer of business within the family. Our major results show i) a founder effect in the Italian manufacturing industry and ii) a large drop in the post-succession performance in family-run businesses. Finally, we provide new evidence on the relationship between pre-succession firm (and industry) characteristics and past succession performance. By using a performance-based control group matching method to control for the effect of a pure mean reverting process in firm performance, we show that the observed large drop in the post-succession company performance is attributable to good performing companies, especially when operating in highly competitive industries.

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File URL: http://docs.dises.univpm.it/web/quaderni/pdf/258.pdf
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Paper provided by Universita' Politecnica delle Marche (I), Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali in its series Working Papers with number 258.

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Length: 41
Date of creation: May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:anc:wpaper:258
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  1. Anderson, Ronald C. & Mansi, Sattar A. & Reeb, David M., 2003. "Founding family ownership and the agency cost of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 263-285, May.
  2. Mike Burkart & Fausto Panunzi & Andrei Shleifer, 2003. "Family Firms," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 58(5), pages 2167-2202, October.
  3. Randall Morck & David Stangeland & Bernard Yeung, 2000. "Inherited Wealth, Corporate Control, and Economic Growth The Canadian Disease?," NBER Chapters, in: Concentrated Corporate Ownership, pages 319-372 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sraer, David & Thesmar, David, 2004. "Performance and Behaviour of Family Firms: Evidence from the French Stock Market," CEPR Discussion Papers 4520, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Philippe Aghion & Nicholas Bloom & Richard Blundell & Rachel Griffith & Peter Howitt, 2002. "Competition and innovation: an inverted U relationship," IFS Working Papers W02/04, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Becker, Gary S & Tomes, Nigel, 1986. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages S1-39, July.
  7. Denis, David J & Denis, Diane K, 1995. " Performance Changes Following Top Management Dismissals," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-57, September.
  8. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
  9. Ralph Chami, 2001. "What is Different About Family Businesses?," IMF Working Papers 01/70, International Monetary Fund.
  10. Huson, Mark R. & Malatesta, Paul H. & Parrino, Robert, 2004. "Managerial succession and firm performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 237-275, November.
  11. Parrino, Robert, 1997. "CEO turnover and outside succession A cross-sectional analysis," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 165-197, November.
  12. Bhattacharya, Utpal & Ravikumar, B, 2001. "Capital Markets and the Evolution of Family Businesses," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74(2), pages 187-219, April.
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