The project analyzes the economic importance of family enterprises in Germany and updates the results of the correspondent research project of the year 2009. 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 two modules. Module 1 is concerned with the quantitative assessment of the economic importance of family enterprises in total. Module 2 focuses on the economic importance of the500 largest family enterprises in Germany and compares them to large firms listed in the DAX which are not owned by families.
Modul 1 conducts a differentiated definition of family enterprises. 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 fulfill the stricter definition of “owner-managed family enterprises” which requires the exertion of management functions in addition to capital majority. Further, “nominal family enterprises” are analyzed, which are defined as firms whose name contains a family name.
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. In alteration to the antecessor project, the population of firms is differentiated into private and public-owned companies.
Modul 2 updates the list of the 500 largest German family enterprises and compares the development of these firms with the DAX-firms (without the family enterprises Beiersdorf, Henkel, Metro und Merck) between 2006 and 2010. Particularly is analyzed whether family enterprises were hit less severely by the recent financial and economic crisis and have overcome the crisis faster than the DAX companies.