When you spend your life building a successful business, whether it's a small bakery or a corporate empire, it's a natural step to hand off the reins to your son or daughter. However, economic research shows that transferring a business to an heir is, on average, a terrible idea. Profitability, for example, drops an estimated 10 to 20 percent. In this hour of Freakonomics Radio, we take a look at the surprising economics of succession. From Anheuser-Busch to Warren Buffett, we hear about fractured families, inept heirs, and some people who've found interesting ways to beat the odds of failure.
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Photo: Dick Yuengling, CEO of D.G. Yuengling & Son brewery, stands on the bottle shop floor with a bottle of his lager. (Courtesy of Yuengling Brewery)
Steven D. Levitt