Family Firm Succession: An Examination of the 2007 Survey of Business Owners



Family business literature has thrived in the past decades, but research on the succession within family is scant and most studies examined large public firms. Family ownership, management control and succession may differently affect the performance measures of the firms in different sizes, and we analyze the Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners with more than 500,000 businesses, which includes both large and small firms and suffers less survivorship bias. On average, family firms perform poorly in terms of receipts, employment, payroll, and labor productivity. However, family firms involving a second generation owner-manager show better performance in all measures, while those managed only by founder-owner show worse performance. These results from a very large sample of mostly small firms are unique and contrary to the previous large-firm study results. After restricting the sample to about 2,000 firms large enough to be listed on a US stock exchange, we find results consistent with the previous literature.


 Family Business Succession and Performance
 Sample and Variables
 Empirical Results with the Whole Sample
 Empirical Results with Large Firms


  • H. Young Baek Nova Southeastern University
  • David Cho Nova Southeastern University


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