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The capital constraint paradox in micro and small family and nonfamily firms
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. HUI Research, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Economics, Dalarna University, Borlänge, Sweden.
Örebro University, Örebro University School of Business. HUI Research, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5610-8526
Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, Stockholm, Sweden; CESIS, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
2016 (English)In: Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, ISSN 2045-2101, E-ISSN 2045-211X, Vol. 5, no 1, 38-62 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate the importance of the entrepreneur’s quest for independence and control over the firm for governance and financing strategies with a special focus on family firms and how they differ from nonfamily firms.

Design/methodology/approach – The analysis is based on 1,000 telephone interviews with Swedish micro and small firms. The survey data are matched with firm-level data from the Bureau van Dijks database ORBIS.

Findings – The analysis shows that independence is a prime motive for enterprises, statistically significantly more so for family owners. Family owners are more prone to use either their own savings or loans from family and are more reluctant to resort to external equity capital. Our results indicate a potential “capital constraint paradox”; there might be an abundance of external capital while firm growth is simultaneously constrained by a lack of internal funds.

Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is that the study is based on cross-section data. Future studies could thus be based on longitudinal data.

Practical implications – The authors argue that policy makers must recognize independence and control aversion as strong norms that guide entrepreneurial action and that micro- and small-firm growth would profit more from lower personal and corporate income taxes compared to policy schemes intended to increase the supply of external capital.

Originality/value – The paper offers new insights regarding the value of independence and how it affects strategic decisions within the firm.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2016. Vol. 5, no 1, 38-62 p.
Keyword [en]
Tax policy, Family firms, Informal institutions, Ownership
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-52998DOI: 10.1108/JEPP-10-2015-0033ISI: 000387745300003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84962135382OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-52998DiVA: diva2:1037733
Available from: 2016-10-17 Created: 2016-10-17 Last updated: 2017-09-15Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Unseen job creators and firm growth barriers: the role of capital constraints and seniority rules
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Unseen job creators and firm growth barriers: the role of capital constraints and seniority rules
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The topic of this thesis is to provide a deeper understanding of how the institutional framework affects firms’ hiring decisions.

The first article focuses on a group of firms, called sleeping gazelles, that do not grow despite having high profits. Sleeping gazelles constitute a much larger share of the firm population than that of high-growth firms. If it is growth barriers that are hindering these firms from hiring more employees, many new jobs could be created if these barriers were removed. To investigate the effects of one of the suggested growth barriers in the literature, the second article, focuses on whether small-firm growth is hampered by lack of capital. Using survey data from business owners matched with register data, we find that firms may face a capital constraint paradox, whereby the supply of external capital might be sufficient, but firm owners might refrain from accessing it due to fear of losing control of their companies. The third article investigates whether employment protection acts as a growth barrier in Sweden. Using a reform of the Swedish last-in-first-out (LIFO) rule, we estimate the causal effects from a liberalization of the employment protection. We find that firm growth increased because of the reform and that a more expansive reform could provide new job opportunities and increase overall employment. The LIFO rule was introduced to protect older workers. The fourth article investigates whether the reform weakened the labor market position of these workers. It is found that more young individuals who were unemployed or previously not in the workforce were hired as a consequence of the reform, showing that the reform lowered youth unemployment. There is no indication of older workers leaving the workforce or becoming unemployed to any greater extent after the reform. The fifth article show that the positive effects of the reform were limited to native workers, with no effects on the labor market position of immigrants. The effects depend on the relative insider-status of employees, so that groups of employees who are closer to being insiders benefit more from less-strict employment protection legislation than groups that are further from being insiders.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2017. 54 p.
Series
Örebro Studies in Economics, ISSN 1651-8896 ; 37
Keyword
Firm growth, growth barriers, employment protection, institutions, capital constraints
National Category
Economics
Research subject
Economics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-58145 (URN)978-91-7529-207-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2017-10-06, Örebro universitet, Musikhögskolan, Hörsal M, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-06-20 Created: 2017-06-20 Last updated: 2017-09-15Bibliographically approved

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