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Which Cooperative Ownership Model Performs Better? A Financial-Decision Aid Approach



In this article the financial/ownership structures of agribusiness cooperatives are analyzed to examine whether new cooperative models perform better than the more traditional ones. The assessment procedure introduces a new financial decision-aid approach, which is based on data-analysis techniques in combination with a preference ranking organization method of enrichment evaluations (PROMETHEE II). The application of this multicriteria decision-aid approach allows the rank ordering of cooperatives based on the most prominent financial ratios. The financial ratios were selected using principal component analysis. This analytical procedure reduces the dimensionality of large numbers of interrelated financial performance measures. We assess the financial success of Dutch agribusiness cooperatives for the period 1999–2010. Results show that there is no clear-cut evidence that cooperative models used to attract extra members’ investments and/or outside equity perform better than the more traditional models. This suggests that ownership structure of cooperatives is not always a decisive factor for their financial success. [EconLit citations: Q130, G320, C440].