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Corporate Governance, Ownership Dispersion and Efficiency: Empirical Evidence from Austrian Cooperative Banking

Опубликовано на портале: 18-04-2007
Journal of Corporate Finance. 1999.  Vol. 5. No. 2. P. 119-140. 
The ownership structures of firms are endogenous. This makes it difficult to produce w direct evidence on the Berle and Means Berle, A.A., Means, G.C., 1932. The Modern x Corporation and Private Property, New York. hypothesis that corporate governance becomes less efficient as the degree of separation of ownership and control increases. We address this issue by studying Austrian cooperative banking, an organizational form in which the ownership structure is exogenous. We show that firm performance declines as the number of cooperative members increases, corresponding to a greater separation of ownership and control. We also provide direct evidence on another theory that is difficult to test, namely, the efficiency wage hypothesis. We show that the decline in firm performance as the number of shareholders increases is due to an increase in efficiency wages.

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