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Title: Essays on incentives in family firms
Author: Zhang, Yanren
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 4790
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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This thesis consists of one literature review and three self-contained essays that discuss management transfers, work incentives and age structures in family firms. In the literature review, I summarize and structure recent studies on management transfer in family firms. The first essay focuses on the incentive effects of age structure in a single firm, and argues that compressed age structures are negatively related to firm performance, which provides a mechanism that causes the underperformance of dynastic management. In the second essay, I extend the single-firm analysis to a multi-firm scenario and find children prefer to work for their own family if the age gap between levels is large. Otherwise, they leave and work for other families. As a result, increased life expectancy leads to the separation between ownership and management, and family-managed firms have more compressed age structures than their professionally managed counterparts. In the third and final essay, I study the issue of self-enforcement in promotion tournaments and find organizations using rank-order contracts may still act opportunistically even when there exists no agency problem between owners and managers. Furthermore, both the wage-seniority profile and governance structure determine the credibility of rank-order contracts, which provides an alternative rationale for returns to seniority and underperformance of dynastic management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Ministry of Education ; China
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Family-owned business enterprises ; Incentives in industry