Motivated by a lack of consensus in the current literature, this paper aims to shed light on whether family firms are more or less productive than non-family firms. As a first step, this paper links existing family business research to the theoretical notion that family involvement has an influence on the factors of production from a productivity standpoint. Secondly, utilising a Cobb-Douglas framework, we provide empirical evidence that family labour and capital indeed yield diverse output contributions relative to their non-family counterparts. In particular, family labour output contributions are significantly higher, and family capital output contributions significantly lower. Interestingly, differences in total factor productivity between family and non-family firms disappear once we allow for heterogeneous output contributions of family production inputs. These findings imply that the assumption of homogeneous labour and capital between family and non-family firms is inappropriate when estimating the production function.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ken_moores/35/