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The Survival of Family Firms: The Importance of Control and Family Ties

  • F. Lotti
  • E. Santarelli

The aim of this article is to analyze the survival patterns of a group of family firms which have already spent at least 25 years in the market. To this end, we use the Kaplan-Meier product limit estimator supplemented with qualitative information gathered by direct observation and discussions with entrepreneurs. The main findings are that small family firms which have reached their 30th year in the market face a very high risk of sudden exit, increasing with firm age. Further control carried out by means of interviews with entrepreneurs identifies problems connected with succession as one of the main causes of the decision to close down.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number 461.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:461
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  1. Bjuggren, Per-Olof & Sund, Lars-Goran, 2002. " A Transaction Cost Rationale for Transition of the Firm within the Family," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 19(2), pages 123-33, September.
  2. Severin Borenstein & Joseph Farrell, 1998. "Inside the Pin-Factory: Empirical Studies Augmented by Manager Interviews," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bore98-1, October.
  3. Thomas F. Cooley & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2001. "Financial Markets and Firm Dynamics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1286-1310, December.
  4. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  5. Forni, Mario & Paba, Sergio, 2002. "Spillovers and the Growth of Local Industries," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 151-71, June.
  6. Santarelli Enrico, 2001. "Ricambio generazionale e continuità dell'impresa: un'applicazione dello stimatore di Kaplan-Meier," L'industria, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 1, pages 141-172.
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