The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
Family businesses make up forty percent of the Fortune 500 companies in the US, generate about two-thirds of the German GDP, employ about one-half of the labor force in Britain, and account for the majority of the private economies in developing countries. This paper develops a theory of family business that brings market forces and the family, as a nonmarket institution, under one rubric. The paper highlights and analyzes important factors, including product market competition, trust, and succession, which allow family businesses to thrive and to successfully compete with other businesses.