Family Firms and the Great Recession: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
Title: Family Firms and the Great Recession: Out of Sight, Out of Mind?
Series/Report no.: EUI ECO; 2011/28
The purpose of this paper is to study how family firms, compared to widely-held companies, reacted to the 2008 economic crisis in terms of employment adjustments. By using a difference-in-difference approach, we provide empirical evidence that di- vergent paths of adjustment between family and non-family firms exist, with family firms systematically preferring to safeguard workplaces close to the firm's headquarters, compared to other plants. We offer a new theoretical framework consistent with these findings, that we define the social recognition motive, based on the psychological rela- tion linking the family owner with his community of reference. We investigate possible alternative explanations for the results, most of whom can be ruled out in our setting. Finally, we test more directly for the validity of the social recognition theory, finding encouraging results in line with the predictions.
Subject: C81; D22; J60; M14; Family Firms; Great Recession; Employment; Social Pressure
Type of Access: openAccess