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Agency Issues in a Family Controlled Corporate Governance Structure The Case of Italy

Author

Listed:
  • Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya

    () (College of Business and Public Policy, University of Alaska)

  • Julie Ann Elston

    () (College of Business, Oregon State University)

  • Laura Rondi

    () (Politecnico di Torino and Ceris-CNR, Italy)

Abstract

This study provides empirical evidence on the relationship between dividend payout ratios, executive compensation and agency costs in Italy. Corporate governance in Italy is distinguished by the fact that a large number of Italian firms are family controlled, which may theoretically reduce asymmetry of information and associated agency costs. Using a panel of listed manufacturing firms we find evidence that family control plays a significant role in resolving agency issues, i.e. that increases in family control of the firm lead to a higher dividend payout. Nevertheless, as we also find that managerial compensations are negatively related to dividend payout ratios, even in this family controlled environment, dividends do play their role in mitigating agency problems.

Suggested Citation

  • Nalinaksha Bhattacharyya & Julie Ann Elston & Laura Rondi, 2011. "Agency Issues in a Family Controlled Corporate Governance Structure The Case of Italy," CERIS Working Paper 201106, Institute for Economic Research on Firms and Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY -NOW- Research Institute on Sustainable Economic Growth - Moncalieri (TO) ITALY.
  • Handle: RePEc:csc:cerisp:201106
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Volpin, Paolo F., 2002. "Erratum to "Governance with poor investor protection: evidence from top executive turnover in Italy": [Journal of Financial Economics 64 (2002) 61-90]," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 159-160, July.
    2. Anderson, Ronald C. & Mansi, Sattar A. & Reeb, David M., 2003. "Founding family ownership and the agency cost of debt," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 263-285, May.
    3. Volpin, Paolo F., 2002. "Governance with poor investor protection: evidence from top executive turnover in Italy," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 61-90, April.
    4. Alexander Dyck & Luigi Zingales, 2004. "Private Benefits of Control: An International Comparison," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 59(2), pages 537-600, April.
    5. Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez‐de‐Silanes & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 2000. "Agency Problems and Dividend Policies around the World," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 55(1), pages 1-33, February.
    6. Elston, Julie Ann & Goldberg, Lawrence G., 2003. "Executive compensation and agency costs in Germany," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1391-1410, July.
    7. Laura Rondi & Julie Ann Elston, 2009. "Corporate Governance And Capital Accumulation: Firm‐Level Evidence From Italy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(5), pages 634-661, November.
    8. Robert Carpenter & Laura Rondi, 2006. "Going Public to Grow? Evidence from a Panel of Italian Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 387-407, December.
    9. repec:hrv:faseco:30747163 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Malcolm Baker & Jeffrey Wurgler, 2003. "A Catering Theory of Dividends," NBER Working Papers 9542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Faccio, Mara & Lang, Larry H. P., 2002. "The ultimate ownership of Western European corporations," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 365-395, September.
    12. Easterbrook, Frank H, 1984. "Two Agency-Cost Explanations of Dividends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(4), pages 650-659, September.
    13. Brunello, Giorgio & Graziano, Clara & Parigi, Bruno M., 2003. "CEO turnover in insider-dominated boards: The Italian case," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(6), pages 1027-1051, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Geiler, P.H.M. & Renneboog, L.D.R., 2014. "Executive Remuneration and the Payout Decision," Discussion Paper 2014-032, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Corporate Governance; Managerial Compensation; Dividends; Family Firms; Italy;

    JEL classification:

    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • G35 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Payout Policy

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