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Must Love Kill the Family Firm?

Author

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

Abstract

Family firms depend on a succession of capable heirs to stay afloat. If talent and IQ are inherited, this problem is mitigated. If, however, progeny talent and IQ display mean reversion (or worse), family firms are eventually doomed. This is the essence of the critique of family firms in Burkart, Panunzi and Shleifer (2003). Since family firms persist, solutions to this succession problem must exist. We submit that marriage can transfuse outside talent and reinvigorate family firms. This implies that changes to the institution of marriage - notably, a decline in arranged marriages in favor of marriages for "love" - bode ill for the survival of family firms. Consistent with this, the predominance of family firms correlates strongly across countries with plausible proxies for arranged marriage norms. Interestingly, family firm dominance interacted with arranged marriage norms also correlates with lower GDP per capita, suggesting that cultural inertia may also impede convergence to more efficient economic organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Vikas Mehrotra & Randall Morck & Jungwook Shim & Yupana Wiwattanakantang, 2010. "Must Love Kill the Family Firm?," NBER Working Papers 16340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16340
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Bloom & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Measuring and Explaining Management Practices Across Firms and Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(4), pages 1351-1408.
    2. Randall Morck & Daniel Wolfenzon & Bernard Yeung, 2004. "Corporate Governance, Economic Entrenchment and Growth," NBER Working Papers 10692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Fausto Panunzi, 2010. "Inheritance Law and Investment in Family Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(5), pages 2414-2450, December.
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    5. Randall Morck & Michael Percy & Gloria Tian & Bernard Yeung, 2005. "The Rise and Fall of the Widely Held Firm: A History of Corporate Ownership in Canada," NBER Chapters,in: A History of Corporate Governance around the World: Family Business Groups to Professional Managers, pages 65-148 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Bertrand, Marianne & Johnson, Simon & Samphantharak, Krislert & Schoar, Antoinette, 2008. "Mixing family with business: A study of Thai business groups and the families behind them," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 466-498, June.
    7. Francesco Caselli & Nicola Gennaioli, 2013. "Dynastic Management," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 971-996, January.
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    9. MARA FACCIO & RONALD W. MASULIS & JOHN J. McCONNELL, 2006. "Political Connections and Corporate Bailouts," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 61(6), pages 2597-2635, December.
    10. Randall K. Morck, 2000. "Concentrated Corporate Ownership," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number morc00-1, January.
    11. 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.
    12. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
    13. Marco Becht & Fabrizio Barca, 2001. "The control of corporate Europe," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/13302, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Randall Morck, 2011. "Finance and Governance in Developing Economies," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 375-406, December.
    2. Le Breton-Miller, Isabelle & Miller, Danny & Bares, Franck, 2015. "Governance and entrepreneurship in family firms: Agency, behavioral agency and resource-based comparisons," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 58-62.
    3. Blind, Georg & Lottanti von Mandach, Stefania, 2015. "Not a Coincidence: Sons-in-Law as Successors in Successful Japanese Family Firms," MPRA Paper 66695, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Vincenzo Lombardo & Alberto Zazzaro, 2015. "Family Firms and Entrepreneurial Human Capital in the Process of Development," CSEF Working Papers 400, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    5. Mehrotra, Vikas & Morck, Randall & Shim, Jungwook & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2013. "Adoptive expectations: Rising sons in Japanese family firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 840-854.
    6. Nzinga Broussard & Ralph Chami & Gregory Hess, 2015. "(Why) Do self-employed parents have more children?," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 13(2), pages 297-321, June.
    7. Maria Rosaria Carillo & Vincenzo Lombardo & Alberto Zazzaro, 2013. "Family Firm Connections and Entrepreneurial Human Capital in the Process of Development," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 89, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    8. repec:kap:asiapa:v:34:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10490-017-9509-0 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G3 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • O17 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
    • P5 - Economic Systems - - Comparative Economic Systems
    • Z1 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics

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