Discussion Paper
No. 2019-12 | February 11, 2019
Sylvia Yanagisako
Family firms as kinship enterprises
(Published in Bio-psycho-social foundations of macroeconomics)


Evidence from around the globe shows that family firms are enduring, resilient forms of profit-seeking and not an archaic, transient form that will inevitably disappear. Social science research has tended to characterize the family values of these firms as producing “efficiency distortions” that adversely affect their financial performance. The author suggests an alternative heuristic approach of treating family firms as kinship enterprises that endure beyond the life of the firm. This approach enables us to understand how the timing of decisions about capital accumulation, expansion and diversification, as well as managerial organization, are shaped by kinship sentiments and intergenerational commitments without setting up an opposition between economic and kinship goals.

JEL Classification:

A13, B55, D22, D91, L21, Z13

Cite As

Sylvia Yanagisako (2019). Family firms as kinship enterprises. Economics Discussion Papers, No 2019-12, Kiel Institute for the World Economy. http://www.economics-ejournal.org/economics/discussionpapers/2019-12

Comments and Questions

Donna Harris, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), Oxford, UK - Referee report
June 04, 2019 - 08:17
see attached file