IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Inherited Wealth, Corporate Control and Economic Growth

  • Randall K. Morck
  • David A. Strangeland
  • Bernard Yeung

Countries in which billionaire heirs' wealth is large relative to G.D.P. grow more slowly; show signs of more political rent seeking, and spend less on innovation than do other countries at similar levels of development. In contrast, countries in which self-made entrepreneur billionaire wealth is large relative to G.D.P. grow more rapidly and show fewer signs of rent seeking. We argue that this is consistent with wealthy entrenched families having objectives other than creating public shareholder value. Also, the control pyramids through which they are entrenched give wealthy families preferential access to capital and enhanced lobbying power. These entrenched families also have vested interests in preserving the value of existing capital. To investigate these arguments, we explore firm-level Canadian data. Heir-controlled Canadian firms show low industry adjusted financial performance, labor capital ratios, and R&D spending relative to other firms the same ages and sizes. We argue that concentrated, inherited corporate control impedes growth, and dub this "the Canadian disease". Further research is needed to determine the international incidence of this condition. Finally, heir-controlled Canadian firms' share prices fell relative to those of comparable firms on the news that the Canada-U.S. free trade agreement would be ratified. A key provision of that treaty is capital market openness. Under the treaty, heir-controlled Canadian firms' labor capital ratios rose, while the incidence of heir-control fell. We suggest that openness, especially of capital markets, may mitigate the ill effects of concentrated inherited control. If so, capital market openness matters for reasons not captured by standard international trade and finance models.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.wdi.umich.edu/files/Publications/WorkingPapers/wp209.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan in its series William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series with number 209.

as
in new window

Length: pages
Date of creation: 01 Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-209
Contact details of provider: Postal: 724 E. University Ave, Wyly Hall 1st Flr, Ann Arbor MI 48109
Phone: 734 763-5020
Fax: 734 763-5850
Web page: http://www.wdi.umich.edu
Email:


More information through EDIRC

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:1998-209. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Laurie Gendron)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.