Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Not a Coincidence: Sons-in-Law as Successors in Successful Japanese Family Firms

Blind, Georg and Lottanti von Mandach, Stefania (2015): Not a Coincidence: Sons-in-Law as Successors in Successful Japanese Family Firms.

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Abstract

Vikas Mehrotra, Randall Morck, Jungwook Shim and Yupana Wiwattanakantang (2013; hereafter MMSW) observe that listed family firms on average outperform non-family firms in Japan between 1962- 2000. They suggest that this finding can be explained by the practice of adult adoptions and, to a lesser degree, by arranged marriages. Their argument centers on a positive performance differential between non-blood and blood heirs. We cannot exactly replicate MMSW's research, because the authors do not share their data. However, we identify methodological concerns with the evidencing of this differential and show how conceptual considerations reduce their argument to that of arranged marriages. Regardless of any differential we propose another interpretation for the superior performance of businesses run by non-blood heirs and identify indicative evidence for this.

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