University of Alberta
School of Business
Edmonton, AB, Canada T6G2R6
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2017||Governance and Stakeholders|
with Randall Morck: w23460
Economic models routinely assume firms maximize shareholder wealth; however common law legal systems only require that officers and directors pursue the interests of the corporation, leaving this ill-defined. Economic arguments for shareholder wealth maximization derived from shareholders’ status as residual claimants are vulnerable on several fronts. Share valuations fluctuate as sentiment shifts. Introductory finance casts firms as maximizing expected net present values, which are quasirents, expected earnings beyond expected costs of capital from investors, to which shareholders have no obvious claim. Other stakeholders – entrepreneurial founders or CEOs, employees, employees, customers, suppliers, communities or governments, having made firm-specific investments, may exert stronger cla...
|March 2011||Adoptive Expectations: Rising Sons in Japanese Family Firms|
with Randall Morck, Jungwook Shim, Yupana Wiwattanakantang: w16874
The practice of adopting adults, even if one has biological children, makes Japanese family firms unusually competitive. Our nearly population-wide panel of postwar listed nonfinancial firms shows inherited family firms more important in postwar Japan than generally realized, and also performing well - an unusual finding for a developed economy. Adopted heirs' firms outperform blood heirs' firms, and match or nearly match founder-run listed firms. Both adopted and blood heirs' firms outperform non-family firms. Using family structure variables as instruments, we find adopted heirs "causing" elevated performance. These findings are consistent with adult adoptees displacing blood heirs in the left tail of the talent distribution, with the "adopted son" job motivating star managers, and with ...
Published: Mehrotra, Vikas & Morck, Randall & Shim, Jungwook & Wiwattanakantang, Yupana, 2013. "Adoptive expectations: Rising sons in Japanese family firms," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(3), pages 840-854. citation courtesy of
|September 2010||Must Love Kill the Family Firm?|
with Randall Morck, Jungwook Shim, Yupana Wiwattanakantang: w16340
Family firms depend on a succession of capable heirs to stay afloat. If talent and IQ are inherited, this problem is mitigated. If, however, progeny talent and IQ display mean reversion (or worse), family firms are eventually doomed. This is the essence of the critique of family firms in Burkart, Panunzi and Shleifer (2003). Since family firms persist, solutions to this succession problem must exist. We submit that marriage can transfuse outside talent and reinvigorate family firms. This implies that changes to the institution of marriage - notably, a decline in arranged marriages in favor of marriages for "love" - bode ill for the survival of family firms. Consistent with this, the predominance of family firms correlates strongly across countries with plausible proxies for arranged...
Published: Mehrotra, Vikas, Randall Morck, Jungwook Shim & Yupana Wiwattanakantang. 2010. Must Love Kill the Family Firm? Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice 36(6)1121-48.
|April 2005||When Labor Has a Voice in Corporate Governance|
with Olubunmi Faleye, Randall Morck: w11254
Equity ownership gives labor both a fractional stake in the firm's residual cash flows and a voice in corporate governance. Relative to other firms, labor-controlled publicly-traded firms deviate more from value maximization, invest less in long-term assets, take fewer risks, grow more slowly, create fewer new jobs, and exhibit lower labor and total factor productivity. We therefore propose that labor uses its corporate governance voice to maximize the combined value of its contractual and residual claims, and that this often pushes corporate policies away from, rather than towards, shareholder value maximization.
Published: Faleye, Olubunmi, Vikas Mehrotra and Randall Morck. "When Labor Has A Voice In Corporate Finance," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, 2006, v41(3,Sep), 489-510. citation courtesy of