According to conventional wisdom, family ownership, which signals a lack of social capital and trust in an economy, may impede innovation. This argument, however, fails to recognize that modern family firms can benefit from capitalist institutions that promote innovation. Using a comprehensive sample of U.S. family-owned public firms and patents for the period from 2000 to 2010, we show that family ownership promotes innovation and that this positive effect can be attributed to reduced financial constraints, a greater commitment to long-term value, and improved corporate governance. Causality is confirmed by an instrumental variable analysis using the state-level divorce rate and a difference-in-difference analysis based on changes in estate taxes (the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001).
Family Firms, Innovation, Intangible Investment
Accounting | Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations | Technology and Innovation
Corporate Governance, Auditing and Risk Management
City or Country
HSU, Po-Hsuan; HUANG, Sterling; MASSA, Massimo; and ZHANG, Hong.
The New Lyrics of the Old Folks: The Role of Family Ownership in Corporate Innovation. (2014). 1-72. Research Collection School Of Accountancy.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soa_research/1299
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