Edited by Charlie Karlsson, Börje Johansson and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 3: Ownership, Succession and Entrepreneurship in an Ageing Society: Is There a Transition Problem?
1 Per-Olof Bjuggren and Daniel Wiberg INTRODUCTION 3.1 A number of EU reports have brought attention to the potential succession problems most West European countries may face during the next decade. The baby boom generation born in the 1940s is about to retire in the coming years. A large portion of the non-listed firms are owned and managed by entrepreneurs of that age. The transfer of these firms to new owners and managers might entail severe problems, especially for regions which are heavily dependent on the factor incomes of the private sector. One problem related to the transfer of ownership is that there is no marketplace for small- and medium-sized privately held firms. Some firms might not find a buyer and for that reason be closed down. As a consequence, employees might lose their jobs and the economy as a whole might in this way be negatively affected. So far the studies of the effects of these transfer problems have looked at the problems on a global, EU or national level. But the negative effects of unsuccessful ownership transfers are more likely to be experienced at the regional level. The welfare of a region is largely dependent on how well the net tax-paying private business sector is doing. A close-down of a large share of the private business enterprises, due to succession problems, could have a very serious negative impact on the welfare of a region. This study addresses this potential ownership transfer problem and related issues on a regional...
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