The Determinants of Ownership Structure: Evidence from Brazilian Agricultural Cooperatives



The separation of ownership and control observed in large corporations is common to other organizations such as large professional partnerships, financial mutuals, nonprofits, and cooperatives. This separation gives rise to control and influence cost problems in cooperatives. However, it is not observed in all Brazilian agricultural cooperatives, where certain members have both residual claim and formal control rights. In this article, we examine the allocation of decision management and control rights and the determinants of ownership structure in a sample of Brazilian agricultural cooperatives. Using survey data, we employ multivariate regression techniques to empirically investigate the factors determining the allocation of ownership rights and the separation of ownership and control. Our findings do not lend strong support to agency theory, but they help inform research seeking to shed light on the determinants of decision rights allocation in agricultural cooperatives. [EconLit classification: Q130].