Family Ownership, Financing Constraints and Investment Decisions


This article provides an empirical answer to the question of how the unique incentives of founding families influence investment decisions. Contrary to theoretical considerations, the results indicate that family firms are not more susceptible to external financing constraints. When compared to companies of similar size and dividend payout ratio, the investment outlays of family firms are consistently less sensitive to internal cash flows. Family businesses are more responsive to their investment opportunities and seem to invest irrespective of cash flow availability. The findings suggest that founding family ownership is associated with lower agency costs and can help to diminish information asymmetries with external suppliers of finance.

In Applied Financial Economics