The project analyzes the economic importance of family enterprises in Germany and updates the results of the correspondent research project of the years 2009 and 2011. It uses the Mannheim Enterprise Panel (MUP) which draws on firm data by the “Verband der Vereine Creditreform” and almost completely represents the whole population of German firms. The project is divided into five modules. Module 1 compares the procedures employed by the business register and the MUP to ascertain population of firms.
The central Module 2 is concerned with the quantitative assessment of the economic importance of family enterprises in total. We use the differentiated definition of family enterprises of the predecessor project: A firm is said to be “family-controlled” if a maximum of three natural persons hold a minimum of 50% of the shares. If the owners of these firms are also involved in the management of the firm, the firms fulfil the stricter definition of “owner-managed family enterprises” which requires the exertion of management functions in addition to capital majority. Family enterprises according to these definitions are analyzed by structural indicators like size, industry, legal form and region. Moreover, their share in the total number of firms, in employment and in turnover of all German firms is estimated.
Module 3 compares the innovation behaviour of family and non-family enterprises based on the Mannheim Innovation Panel. Module 4 compares the equity ratio of family and non-family enterprises.
An additional central Module 5 updates the list of the 500 largest German family enterprises and surveys their economic importance using the indicators turnover and employment. Besides, equity ratios are reported for the first time. In addition, the development of the top 500 family enterprises in comparison to the non-family enterprises in the DAX until 2012 is outlined.

Selected Publications