We determine the circumstances when the absence of public listing, often believed to be a disadvantage, makes a cooperative the unique efficient governance structure. This is established in a multi-task principal-agent model, capturing that cooperatives are not publicly listed and their CEOs have to bring the downstream enterprise to value as well as to serve upstream member interests. Not having a public listing prevents the CEO from choosing the level of the downstream activities too high. Cooperatives are uniquely efficient when the upstream marginal product multiplied with a function increasing in the strength of the chain complementarities is higher than the downstream marginal product.

, , , ,
, ,
doi.org/10.1093/erae/jbr007, hdl.handle.net/1765/37798
European Review of Agricultural Economics
Erasmus Research Institute of Management