Journal of Financial Economics2013-09-05 2:57 AM

Adoptive expectations: Rising sons in Japanese family firms

Abstract We find inherited family firms more important in postwar Japan than generally realized, and also performing well on average. Non-consanguineous heir-run firms outperform blood heirs' firms, and roughly match founder-run listed firms, while blood heirs surpass professional managers at running family firms. Further, succession events suggest that adopted heirs “cause” elevated performance. We suggest that heir-run firms do well because non-consanguineous heirs displace the least talented blood heirs, the non-consanguineous heir “job” motivates professional managers, and the threat of displacement encourages blood heirs' effort and human capital accumulation, mitigating the “Carnegie conjecture” that inherited wealth deadens talent.

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Journal of Financial Economics

The Journal of Financial Economics or JFE is a peer-reviewed academic journal covering theoretical and empirical topics in financial economics. Together with the Journal of Finance and the Review of Financial Studies, it is considered to be among the top three finance journals.

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