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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2012

Chain interdependencies, measurement problems and efficient governance structure: cooperatives versus publicly listed firms

Feng, Li; Hendrikse, George


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 principalagent 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.


chains; measurement; governance; cooperatives; D21; L23; Q13

Published in

European Review of Agricultural Economics
2012, volume: 39, number: 2, pages: 241-255

Authors' information

Feng, Li
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Economics
Hendrikse, George

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