Scholars have emphasized researching what factors influence individuals to join and take over their parents’ businesses in recent years. However, research on the impact of institutional factors and the institutional environment on succession intentions is scarce. This study addresses this gap by integrating institutional theory and the theory of planned behavior using a data set of 10,669 students with a family business background from 24 countries. The mixed multilevel analyses revealed four social security policies’ direct and moderating effects (family, health, pension, and labor market) on succession intention. Family and health policies negatively impact succession intention, and pension and labor market policies positively affect succession intention. The results indicate that a country’s economic development level distinguishes between necessity and opportunity succession and a country’s variation of social security policies. These findings have implications for both theory and practice.
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