Family firms’ investments, uncertainty and opacity

Family firms’ investments, uncertainty and opacity This paper contributes to the literature on family firms in two ways. First, it focuses on a largely neglected but important issue of family firms’ investment decisions. Second, it uses a novel and rich data set about Italian private firms; this complements the literature, which typically focuses on publicly traded companies, in an important way, given that most family firms are private and relatively little information is available on their behaviour. Our results suggest that family firms’ investments are significantly more sensitive to uncertainty than nonfamily firms. We find evidence that the greater sensitivity to uncertainty is basically due to the greater opacity of family firms and to their higher risk aversion, rather than to the degree of sunk fixed capital as is typical in the literature on investment decisions. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Small Business Economics Springer Journals

Family firms’ investments, uncertainty and opacity

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2012 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
Subject
Economics / Management Science; Management/Business for Professionals; Microeconomics; Entrepreneurship; Industrial Organization
ISSN
0921-898X
eISSN
1573-0913
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11187-012-9414-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This paper contributes to the literature on family firms in two ways. First, it focuses on a largely neglected but important issue of family firms’ investment decisions. Second, it uses a novel and rich data set about Italian private firms; this complements the literature, which typically focuses on publicly traded companies, in an important way, given that most family firms are private and relatively little information is available on their behaviour. Our results suggest that family firms’ investments are significantly more sensitive to uncertainty than nonfamily firms. We find evidence that the greater sensitivity to uncertainty is basically due to the greater opacity of family firms and to their higher risk aversion, rather than to the degree of sunk fixed capital as is typical in the literature on investment decisions.

Journal

Small Business EconomicsSpringer Journals

Published: Feb 14, 2012

References

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