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???Family??? ownership, tunneling and earnings management: A review of the literature


  • Sumon Bhaumik


  • Andros Gregoriou


In this review article, we bring together a number of aspects of family firms that are ubiquitous in a number of institutional contexts, often as part of larger business groups. We pay particular attention to the mechanisms by which families retain control over firms, and the incentives of the families in control to expropriate other stakeholders by way of tunnelling. We examine the role of earnings management in facilitating tunnelling, and evidence about the incidence of earnings management in family firms. Our review suggests that while the literature on these aspects of family control is rich, the contexts in which the empirical exercises are undertaken are relatively few, and hence there is considerable opportunity to expand it to other contexts, in particular in the form of cross-country comparisons of the relative impact of agency conflicts and institutions on these issues.

Suggested Citation

  • Sumon Bhaumik & Andros Gregoriou, 2009. "???Family??? ownership, tunneling and earnings management: A review of the literature," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp954, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:wdi:papers:2009-954

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ronald A Johnson & Venkat Srinivasan & Paul J Bolster, 1990. "Sovereign Debt Ratings: A Judgmental Model Based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 21(1), pages 95-117, March.
    2. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 1988. "The Determinants of Board Composition," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(4), pages 589-606, Winter.
    3. Cotter, James F. & Shivdasani, Anil & Zenner, Marc, 1997. "Do independent directors enhance target shareholder wealth during tender offers?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(2), pages 195-218, February.
    4. Weck, M. & Klocke, F. & Schell, H. & Ruenauver, E., 1997. "Evaluating alternative production cycles using the extended fuzzy AHP method," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 351-366, July.
    5. Weisbrod, Burton A. & Dominguez, Nestor D., 1986. "Demand for collective goods in private nonprofit markets: Can fundraising expenditures help overcome free-rider behavior?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 83-96, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabete F. Simões Vieira, 2016. "Earnings Management in Public Family Firms under Economic Adversity," Australian Accounting Review, CPA Australia, vol. 26(2), pages 190-207, June.
    2. B. Zorina Khan, 2017. "Related Investing: Corporate Ownership and Capital Mobilization during Early Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 23052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Sumon Bhaumik & Pranab Kumar Das & Subal C. Kumbhakar, 2011. "Firm Investment & Credit Constraints in India, 1997 ??? 2006: A stochastic frontier approach," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series wp1010, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    4. Temouri, Yama & Driffield, Nigel & Bhaumik, Sumon Kumar, 2016. "A strategic perspective of cross-listing by emerging market firms: Evidence from Indonesia, Mexico, Poland and South Africa," Journal of International Management, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 265-279.
    5. Muñoz-Bullón, Fernando & Sánchez-Bueno, Maria J., 2012. "Do family ties shape the performance consequences of diversification? Evidence from the European Union," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 469-477.

    More about this item


    family control; group affiliation; agency problem; tunnelling; earnings management;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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