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Do shareholder coalitions affect agency costs? Evidence from Italian-listed companies

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  • Rossi, Fabrizio
  • Barth, James R.
  • Cebula, Richard J.

Abstract

This study investigates the relationship between agency costs and ownership structure for a sample of listed Italian companies to determine the impact of shareholder coalitions on agency costs. Using a balanced panel dataset of 1956 firm-year observations for the period 2002–2013, the results provide evidence that ownership concentration and debt play a limited role in monitoring agency costs, whereas the type of shareholder plays an important role in either mitigating or exacerbating agency costs. Family-controlled firms and coalitions among non-controlling shareholders seem helpful in reducing agency costs. The results suggest that coalitions among non-controlling shareholders both in family and non-family firms reduce agency costs. The findings also indicate that multiple blockholders play a key role as mediators. The paper provides a new perspective on assessing the role of agency costs in a bank-based, civil law country. The results enable one to better understand the impact of blockholders on agency costs and their interactions within family-controlled firms. The results also provide support for both the entrenchment effect and the alignment-of-interests hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Rossi, Fabrizio & Barth, James R. & Cebula, Richard J., 2018. "Do shareholder coalitions affect agency costs? Evidence from Italian-listed companies," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 181-200.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:riibaf:v:46:y:2018:i:c:p:181-200
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ribaf.2018.02.002
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agency theory; Debt; Ownership structure; Multiple blockholders; Family-controlled firms; GMM estimation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance

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