Comparative Business Practices and Productivity Performance between Family and Non-family Firms: Perceptions and Poverty Reduction Effects in Cameroon

"This policy brief attempts to explain productivity performance between family and non-family firms in Cameroon. It also attempts to determine whether family firms’ relative contribution to the social and economic development of a country is related to differences in production technologies and production efficiency, compared to non-family firms. We used quantitative data from the World Bank Enterprise Survey and a self-explorative survey, which was collected using qualitative methods. While the quantitative data enables us to assess firm productivity, the explorative survey helps examine how current operators and university students perceive family and non-family entrepreneurship - in terms of their contributions to profitability, income generation, job creation and poverty reduction in Cameroon. Managers and students’ perceptions of family management and ownership were collected in the form of questionnaires. Specifically, the qualitative analysis focuses on the mechanism through which family ownership may potentially affect firm performance, in terms of growth, employment, income generation and poverty reduction. This type of analysis may have important implications, as the role of productivity in firm performance is of fundamental importance. According to Solow (1957) and Palia and Lichtenberg (1999) and Easterly and Levine(2001), approximately 90 percent of the increase in real per capita output is attributable to the growth of efficiency."