The Role of Family in Family Firms

“The Role of Family in Family Firms,”  Marianne Bertrand and Antoinette Schoar, The Journal of Economic Perspectives 20, no. 2 (2006): 73–96. (Open Access) 

History is replete with examples of spectacular ascents of family businesses. Yet there are also numerous accounts of family businesses brought down by bitter feuds among family members, disappointed expectations between generations, and tragic sagas of later generations unable to manage their wealth. A large fraction of businesses throughout the world are organized around families. Why are family firms so prevalent? What are the implications of family control for the governance, financing and overall performance of these businesses?

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