IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/juipol/v31y2014icp18-28.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

The effects of ownership, board size and board composition on the performance of Italian water utilities

Author

Listed:
  • Romano, Giulia
  • Guerrini, Andrea

Abstract

This article analyses the effects of ownership, board size and composition on the performance of 72 Italian water utilities. Information about the utilities' 335 directors was collected. Our main findings indicate that private or mixed-ownership utilities show higher profitability than entirely publicly-owned firms, even if the latter are less debt-dependent. Furthermore, our results show that the boards of Italian water utilities are dominated by politically connected directors, who boost access to debt and negatively affect the firms' capital structures. This study also shows that board composition, in terms of the age and educational background of members, influences economic performance, since graduate and senior directors exert a negative influence on profitability.

Suggested Citation

  • Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2014. "The effects of ownership, board size and board composition on the performance of Italian water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 18-28.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:31:y:2014:i:c:p:18-28
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jup.2014.06.002
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0957178714000447
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jup.2014.06.002?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mariateresa Torchia & Andrea Calabrò & Morten Huse, 2011. "Women Directors on Corporate Boards: From Tokenism to Critical Mass," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 102(2), pages 299-317, August.
    2. Claessens, Stijn & Feijen, Erik & Laeven, Luc, 2008. "Political connections and preferential access to finance: The role of campaign contributions," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(3), pages 554-580, June.
    3. Boycko, Maxim & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W, 1996. "A Theory of Privatisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(435), pages 309-319, March.
    4. Adams, Renée B. & Ferreira, Daniel, 2009. "Women in the boardroom and their impact on governance and performance," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 291-309, November.
    5. Renee B. Adams & Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2010. "The Role of Boards of Directors in Corporate Governance: A Conceptual Framework and Survey," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 58-107, March.
    6. da Cruz, Nuno F. & Marques, Rui Cunha, 2012. "Mixed companies and local governance: no man can serve two masters," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 59778, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. Boardman, Anthony E & Vining, Aidan R, 1989. "Ownership and Performance in Competitive Environments: A Comparison of the Performance of Private, Mixed, and State-Owned Enterprises," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 32(1), pages 1-33, April.
    8. Mara Faccio, 2010. "Differences between Politically Connected and Nonconnected Firms: A Cross‐Country Analysis," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 39(3), pages 905-928, September.
    9. Michael C. Jensen, 2010. "The Modern Industrial Revolution, Exit, and the Failure of Internal Control Systems," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 22(1), pages 43-58, January.
    10. L. A. A. Van den Berghe & Abigail Levrau, 2004. "Evaluating Boards of Directors: what constitutes a good corporate board?," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(4), pages 461-478, October.
    11. Agrawal, Anup & Knoeber, Charles R, 2001. "Do Some Outside Directors Play a Political Role?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 44(1), pages 179-198, April.
    12. Romano, Giulia & Guerrini, Andrea, 2011. "Measuring and comparing the efficiency of water utility companies: A data envelopment analysis approach," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 202-209.
    13. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
    14. Massimo Florio & Fabienne Fecher, 2011. "The Future Of Public Enterprises: Contributions To A New Discourse," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 82(4), pages 361-373, December.
    15. Paul H. Malatesta & Kathryn L. DeWenter, 2001. "State-Owned and Privately Owned Firms: An Empirical Analysis of Profitability, Leverage, and Labor Intensity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 320-334, March.
    16. Andrea Guerrini & Giulia Romano & Bettina Campedelli, 2013. "Economies of Scale, Scope, and Density in the Italian Water Sector: A Two-Stage Data Envelopment Analysis Approach," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(13), pages 4559-4578, October.
    17. Eckel, Catherine C & Vining, Aidan R, 1985. "Elements of a Theory of Mixed Enterprise," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 32(1), pages 82-94, February.
    18. Reynaud, Arnaud & Thomas, Alban, 2013. "Firm's profitability and regulation in water and network industries: An empirical analysis," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 48-58.
    19. Vinnari, Eija M. & Hukka, Jarmo J., 2007. "Great expectations, tiny benefits - Decision-making in the privatization of Tallinn water," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 78-85, June.
    20. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
    21. Eitan Goldman & Jörg Rocholl & Jongil So, 2009. "Do Politically Connected Boards Affect Firm Value?," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 22(6), pages 2331-2360, June.
    22. Yermack, David, 1996. "Higher market valuation of companies with a small board of directors," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 185-211, February.
    23. Farrell, Kathleen A. & Hersch, Philip L., 2005. "Additions to corporate boards: the effect of gender," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 11(1-2), pages 85-106, March.
    24. Giulia Romano & Andrea Guerrini & Silvia Vernizzi, 2013. "Ownership, Investment Policies and Funding Choices of Italian Water Utilities: An Empirical Analysis," Water Resources Management: An International Journal, Published for the European Water Resources Association (EWRA), Springer;European Water Resources Association (EWRA), vol. 27(9), pages 3409-3419, July.
    25. Martin Conyon & Simon Peck, 1998. "Board size and corporate performance: evidence from European countries," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(3), pages 291-304.
    26. Benjamin E. Hermalin & Michael S. Weisbach, 2003. "Boards of directors as an endogenously determined institution: a survey of the economic literature," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 9(Apr), pages 7-26.
    27. Boubakri, Narjess & Cosset, Jean-Claude & Saffar, Walid, 2008. "Political connections of newly privatized firms," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 654-673, December.
    28. Bozec, Richard & Dia, Mohamed, 2007. "Board structure and firm technical efficiency: Evidence from Canadian state-owned enterprises," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 177(3), pages 1734-1750, March.
    29. Paul Guest, 2009. "The impact of board size on firm performance: evidence from the UK," The European Journal of Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(4), pages 385-404.
    30. Abbott, Malcolm & Cohen, Bruce, 2009. "Productivity and efficiency in the water industry," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(3-4), pages 233-244, September.
    31. Lobina, Emanuele & Hall, David, 2007. "Experience with private sector participation in Grenoble, France, and lessons on strengthening public water operations," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 93-109, June.
    32. Caspar Rose, 2007. "Does female board representation influence firm performance? The Danish evidence," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(2), pages 404-413, March.
    33. Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1994. "Politicians and Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 995-1025.
    34. G. Bognetti & L. Robotti, 2007. "The Provision Of Local Public Services Through Mixed Enterprises: The Italian Case," Annals of Public and Cooperative Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 78(3), pages 415-437, September.
    35. Alexandra Niessen & Stefan Ruenzi, 2010. "Political Connectedness and Firm Performance: Evidence from Germany," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(4), pages 441-464, November.
    36. Niclas L. Erhardt & James D. Werbel & Charles B. Shrader, 2003. "Board of Director Diversity and Firm Financial Performance," Corporate Governance: An International Review, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 102-111, April.
    37. David A. Carter & Betty J. Simkins & W. Gary Simpson, 2003. "Corporate Governance, Board Diversity, and Firm Value," The Financial Review, Eastern Finance Association, vol. 38(1), pages 33-53, February.
    38. Guerrini, Andrea & Romano, Giulia, 2013. "The process of tariff setting in an unstable legal framework: An Italian case study," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 78-85.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. I Gusti Ngurah Bagus Gunadi & I Gusti Bagus Wiksuana & Ida Bagus Anom Purbawangsa & Henny Rahyuda, 2020. "Impact of Structural Capital and Company Size on the Growth of Firm Value through Financial Performance with Good Corporate Governance as a Moderating Variable: Property and Real Estate Business in In," International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), International Journal of Economics & Business Administration (IJEBA), vol. 0(4), pages 332-352.
    2. Sowby, Robert B., 2018. "Comparison of operational energy requirements in publicly and privately owned U.S. water utilities," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 54(C), pages 92-95.
    3. Romano, Giulia & Molinos-Senante, María & Guerrini, Andrea, 2017. "Water utility efficiency assessment in Italy by accounting for service quality: An empirical investigation," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 97-108.
    4. D'Amore, Gabriella & Landriani, Loris & Lepore, Luigi, 2021. "Ownership and sustainability of Italian water utilities: The stakeholder role," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).
    5. D’Inverno, Giovanna & Carosi, Laura & Romano, Giulia, 2021. "Environmental sustainability and service quality beyond economic and financial indicators: A performance evaluation of Italian water utilities," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 75(C).
    6. Massimiliano Agovino & Massimiliano Cerciello & Antonio Garofalo & Loris Landriani & Luigi Lepore, 2021. "Corporate governance and sustainability in water utilities. The effects of decorporatisation in the city of Naples, Italy," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(2), pages 874-890, February.
    7. Zhang, Xue & Rivas, Marcela Gonzalez & Grant, Mary & Warner, Mildred E., 2021. "Water Pricing and Affordability in the US: Public vs Private Ownership," SocArXiv 7mc4r, Center for Open Science.
    8. Allevi, E. & Basso, A. & Bonenti, F. & Oggioni, G. & Riccardi, R., 2019. "Measuring the environmental performance of green SRI funds: A DEA approach," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 32-44.
    9. Irina Berezinets & Kirill Berezkin & Yulia Ilina & Irina Naoumova, 2019. "Board Of Directors As A Factor Of Firm Performance In Innovative Companies," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 23(06), pages 1-26, August.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Franco Ernesto Rubino & Paolo Tenuta & Domenico Rocco Cambrea, 2017. "Board characteristics effects on performance in family and non-family business: a multi-theoretical approach," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 21(3), pages 623-658, September.
    2. Đặng, Rey & Houanti, L’Hocine & Reddy, Krishna & Simioni, Michel, 2020. "Does board gender diversity influence firm profitability? A control function approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 168-181.
    3. Milagros Gutiérrez-Fernández & Yakira Fernández-Torres, 2020. "Does Gender Diversity Influence Business Efficiency? An Analysis from the Social Perspective of CSR," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(9), pages 1-18, May.
    4. Tang, Xuesong & Lin, Yan & Peng, Qing & Du, Jun & Chan, Kam C., 2016. "Politically connected directors and firm value: Evidence from forced resignations in China," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 148-167.
    5. Vincenzo Scafarto & Federica Ricci & Elisabetta Magnaghi & Salvatore Ferri, 2021. "Board structure and intellectual capital efficiency: does the family firm status matter?," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 25(3), pages 841-878, September.
    6. Nguyen, Tuan & Nguyen, An & Nguyen, Mau & Truong, Thuyen, 2021. "Is national governance quality a key moderator of the boardroom gender diversity–firm performance relationship? International evidence from a multi-hierarchical analysis," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 370-390.
    7. Naeem Tabassum & Satwinder Singh, 2020. "Corporate Governance and Organisational Performance," Springer Books, Springer, number 978-3-030-48527-6, December.
    8. Collins Ntim, 2015. "Board diversity and organizational valuation: unravelling the effects of ethnicity and gender," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(1), pages 167-195, February.
    9. Bill Francis & Iftekhar Hasan & Qiang Wu, 2015. "Professors in the Boardroom and Their Impact on Corporate Governance and Firm Performance," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 44(3), pages 547-581, September.
    10. Sanjukta Brahma & Chioma Nwafor & Agyenim Boateng, 2021. "Board gender diversity and firm performance: The UK evidence," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(4), pages 5704-5719, October.
    11. Siri Terjesen & Eduardo Barbosa Couto & Paulo Morais Francisco, 2016. "Does the presence of independent and female directors impact firm performance? A multi-country study of board diversity," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 20(3), pages 447-483, September.
    12. Laura Cabeza-García & Esther B. Brío & Carlos Rueda, 2021. "The moderating effect of innovation on the gender and performance relationship in the outset of the gender revolution," Review of Managerial Science, Springer, vol. 15(3), pages 755-778, April.
    13. Ahmadi, Ali & Nakaa, Nejia & Bouri, Abdelfettah, 2018. "Chief Executive Officer attributes, board structures, gender diversity and firm performance among French CAC 40 listed firms," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 218-226.
    14. Wong, Wai-Yan & Hooy, Chee-Wooi, 2018. "Do types of political connection affect firm performance differently?," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 297-317.
    15. repec:tur:wpaper:9 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Wang, Fangjun & Xu, Luying & Zhang, Junrui & Shu, Wei, 2018. "Political connections, internal control and firm value: Evidence from China's anti-corruption campaign," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 53-67.
    17. Santiago Kopoboru & Gloria Cuevas-Rodríguez & Leticia Pérez-Calero, 2020. "Boards that Make a Difference in Firm’s Acquisitions: The Role of Interlocks and Former Politicians in Spain," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(3), pages 1-19, January.
    18. Berezinets, Irina & Ilina, Yulia & Muravyev, Alexander, 2011. "CEO and Board Characteristics as Determinants of Private Benefits of Control: Evidence from the Russian Stock Exchange," IZA Discussion Papers 6256, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    19. Muhammad Haris & Hongxing Yao & Gulzara Tariq & Hafiz Mustansar Javaid & Qurat Ul Ain, 2019. "Corporate Governance, Political Connections, and Bank Performance," International Journal of Financial Studies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(4), pages 1-37, October.
    20. Nguyen, Tuan & Locke, Stuart & Reddy, Krishna, 2014. "A dynamic estimation of governance structures and financial performance for Singaporean companies," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 1-11.
    21. Gulamhussen, Mohamed Azzim & Santa, Sílvia Fonte, 2015. "Female directors in bank boardrooms and their influence on performance and risk-taking," Global Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 28(C), pages 10-23.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:juipol:v:31:y:2014:i:c:p:18-28. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30478 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30478 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.