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Agency and Control Problems in US Corporations: The Case of Energy-efficient Investment Projects

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  • Stephen Decanio

Abstract

Private sector corporations in the United States fall short of their potential to increase shareholders'1 wealth in a number of ways. One example is the failure to undertake profitable energy conservation investments. Explanations of this phenomenon include agency and moral hazard problems, imperfect information and incentives, myopia, and X-inefficiency. Data from a survey conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency and from interviews with corporate executives are used to explore these hypotheses. Good overall corporate performance is found to be associated with longer internal payback requirements for energy investments. Suggestions for improving corporate decision-making in this area are proposed.

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File URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/758540502
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal International Journal of the Economics of Business.

Volume (Year): 1 (1994)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 105-124

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Handle: RePEc:taf:ijecbs:v:1:y:1994:i:1:p:105-124

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Related research

Keywords: Energy; Efficiency; Agency problems; Myopia; Incentives; Information; Theory of the firm; Organizational behavior; Environment; JEL classifications: D2; D7; D8; L2; Q2; Q4;

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Cited by:
  1. Daan van Soest & Erwin Bulte, 2001. "Does the Energy-Efficiency Paradox Exist? Technological Progress and Uncertainty," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 18(1), pages 101-112, January.
  2. Graus, Wina & Worrell, Ernst, 2008. "The principal-agent problem and transport energy use: Case study of company lease cars in the Netherlands," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3745-3753, October.
  3. Schleich, Joachim, 2009. "Barriers to energy efficiency: A comparison across the German commercial and services sector," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(7), pages 2150-2159, May.
  4. Stranlund, John K., 1997. "Public Technological Aid to Support Compliance to Environmental Standards," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 228-239, November.
  5. O'Malley, Eoin & Scott, Susan & Sorrell, Steve, 2003. "Barriers to Energy Efficiency: Evidence from Selected Sectors," Research Series, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number PRS47.
  6. Michael Toman, 1998. "Research Frontiers in the Economics of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 11(3), pages 603-621, April.
  7. Schleich, Joachim & Gruber, Edelgard, 2008. "Beyond case studies: Barriers to energy efficiency in commerce and the services sector," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 449-464, March.

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