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  • 1.
    Ampenberger, Markus
    et al.
    Technische Universität, München, Germany.
    Bennedsen, Morten
    INSEAD, Seine-et-Marne, France.
    Zhou, Haoyong
    Department of Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark.
    The capital structure of family firms2012In: The Oxford handbook of entrepreneurial finance / [ed] Douglas Cumming, New York: Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 167-191Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    This article has two parts. The first part provides a brief literature review on existing theoretical and empirical research in the capital structure of family firms. It argues that there are several important aspects of being a closely held family firm that have opposing impacts on the optimal choice of debt leverage. One important feature is that families are typically nondiversified investors that not only have most of their wealth tied to the company but also often their human capital. Another salient feature is that families want to have control over their company. This control objective restricts the willingness to raise new capital outside the family and therefore often results in a stronger dependence on banks and various forms of debt instruments. The second part provides an empirical analysis of the leverage structure of family firms in Denmark. Using a unique data set the family can be tracked behind each of the 200,000 Danish firms and the firms categorized into family or nonfamily firms. Three definitions of family firms are used in the analysis: multiple family members owning the firm; a family owner is also CEO; and there has been at least one family succession in the firm.

  • 2.
    Zhou, Haoyong
    et al.
    Keele Management School, Staffordshire, UK.
    He, Fan
    Department of Finance, School of Business, Central Connecticut State University, New Britain, CT, United States.
    Wang, Yangbo
    SKK Graduate School of Business, Seoul, South Korea.
    Did family firms perform better during the financial crisis?: New insights from the S&P 500 firms2017In: Global Finance Journal, ISSN 1044-0283, E-ISSN 1873-5665, Vol. 33, p. 88-103Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This paper provides new evidence on whether family firms performed better during the global financial crisis (2008–2010). Using the dataset of the S&P 500 nonfinancial firms during the period 2006–2010, we find that family firms outperformed nonfamily firms during the crisis. Among family firms, the ones that contributed to the outperformance were those where the founder was still present. We also find that during the global financial crisis, founder firms invested significantly less and had better access to the credit market than nonfamily firms. Our analysis suggests that the superior performance of founder firms is largely caused by their having less incentive to overinvest in order to boost short-term earnings during the crisis. 

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