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.

Agency theory, Cooperatives, Corporate governance, Production functions, Studies
Firm Behavior (jel D21), Organization of Production (jel L23), Agricultural Markets and Marketing; Cooperatives; Agribusiness (jel Q13)
dx.doi.org/10.1093/erae/jbr007, hdl.handle.net/1765/37798
European Review of Agricultural Economics
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Feng, L, & Hendrikse, G.W.J. (2012). Chain interdependencies, measurement problems and efficient governance structure: cooperatives versus publicly listed firms. European Review of Agricultural Economics (Vol. 39, pp. 241–255). doi:10.1093/erae/jbr007