The majority of enterprises in Germany are family-owned. There are not only represented in the mid-sized sector but also make up a significant part of large-scale enterprises with an annual revenue of 50 million €.The economic importance of family-owned businesses and their particularities in comparison to other companies have been investigated in recent years by IfM Bonn (2007,2010) and ZEW ((2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016). Studies of the ZEW in cooperation with ifm Mannheim (2009, 2011, 2014 and 2016) on behalf of the Foundation for Family Businesses analyzed the structural features of family enterprises (sector, size and legal form distribution) next to their share of employees and revenue on the overall economy.  Furthermore, the studies contained a list of Top 500 family enterprises and compared the revenue and employee development of those companies with the ones being not family-owned but listed in the DAX.
This year the historical development of family firms or rather the corporate landscape in East Germany since the fall of the wall are investigated. A special focus is on the development of the ownership structure.  The participation of family firms on East Germany’s private economy is displayed on a timeline.

Selected Publications


Gottschalk, Sandra, Annegret Hauer, Detlef Keese and Moritz Lubczyk (2019), Die volkswirtschaftliche Bedeutung der Familienunternehmen, Stiftung Familienunternehmen, München. Download