Online conference – SMEs, Families and Capital Markets

The Stockholm School of Economics in Riga and the European Corporate Governance Institute are pleased to invite you to the conference SMEs, Families and Capital Markets, which will be held on Zoom.

Friday, 19 June 2020 | 10:45 EEST | 09:45 CEST | 08:45 BST

The programme is available on the event page. A printable copy of the programme can also be downloaded here. You are welcome to attend for the whole day or any part thereof. The Zoom link will work throughout the day.

Participation is free of charge. To register, send an email to anete.pajuste(at)
About the conference

There is increasing evidence of the positive role played by family firms, including both publicly listed and privately owned entities. However, one of the main challenges for family businesses is succession. It is becoming more complex due to changes in family, management and governance systems. Sound governance reduces conflicts of interest, maintains family harmony, and creates value for all stakeholders.

Business transfer is a critical milestone in the life of many family businesses that with the ageing of the population of entrepreneurs becomes even more acute. Additionally, in the Central and Eastern European markets, the first generation of entrepreneurs is nearing retirement, which means that for many firms in these countries the transfer of family business stock happens for the first time.

To address these issues, one of the priorities mentioned in the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan of the European Commission is “easing business transfers”, for example, through reducing cross-border inheritance tax obstacles, improving information and advice services, and other initiatives. Likewise, stock exchanges are attempting to ease obstacles for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are predominantly family-owned, to raise capital through public markets.  The conference will examine these tendencies.


BEA online research seminar – Janis Skrastins

Following the success of the inaugural seminar (thanks to the 55 participants!), we would like to invite you to the second Online Research Seminar of the Baltic Economic Association. The seminar series is scheduled to take place once a month with the purpose of developing personal contacts and promoting joint scholarly research and intellectual exchange between economists of the Baltic States.

We are pleased to welcome Jānis Skrastiņš (Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business Schoolfor this second session. Jānis’ research focuses on labor economics, financial intermediation, and organizational economics. His current work on labor economics analyzes the incentive effects of unemployment insurance, worker mobility, and risk sharing between firms and employees. His work also provides empirical insights on the trade-offs of organizational design and their broader implications for the real economy. His current research explores organizational hierarchy and delegation of decision-making, and how lenders adapt their organizational design to mitigate credit market imperfections. He also investigates the role of courts in the transmission of shocks in the supply chains. His work has received several best paper awards and has been published in such outlets as Journal of Political Economy. Jānis received his PhD in finance from London Business School, MSc in corporate finance from University of Amsterdam, and BSc in business economics from Stockholm School of Economics in Riga.

Speaker: Jānis Skrastiņš (Washington University in St. Louis, Olin Business School)

Title: Unemployment Insurance as a Subsidy to Risky Firms

Co-authors: Bernardus van Doornik (Banco Central do Brasil), Dimas Fazio (London Business School), and David Schoenherr (Princeton)

Date: Thursday, June 18

Time: 16:00 Vilnius, Riga, Tallinn 

To register and obtain the Zoom dial-in details, send an email to

Facilitator: Nicolas Gavoille (SSE Riga)

Abstract: We document that a more generous unemployment insurance (UI) system shifts labor supply from safer to riskier firms and reduces compensating wage differentials risky firms need to pay. Consequently, a more generous UI system increases risky firms’ value and fosters entrepreneurship by reducing new firms’ labor costs. Exploiting a UI reform in Brazil that affects only part of the workforce allows us to compare labor supply for workers with different degrees of UI protection within the same firm, sharpening identification of the results. Altogether, our results suggest that UI provides a transfer system from safe to risky firms.