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Cooperative Formation and Financial Contracting in Agricultural Markets

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  • Brent Hueth
  • Philippe Marcoul
  • Roger G. Ginder

Abstract

Cooperative formation in agriculture sometimes occurs in response to the exit of a private firm and typically requires substantial equity investment by participating farmers. What economic rationale can explain why farmers are willing to contribute capital to an activity that fails to attract non-farm, "private" investment? We hypothesize that doing so is a costly mechanism for increasing the maximum penalty farmers face in the case of business failure. For a given market environment, exposing farmers to this risk increases the amount of surplus that can be used to repay lenders, thus expanding the set of market environments in which financing is available. We show how equity investment of this sort can be an efficient organizational response to a reduction in expected market returns and interpret the resulting financial contract as a "cooperative."

Suggested Citation

  • Brent Hueth & Philippe Marcoul & Roger G. Ginder, 2004. "Cooperative Formation and Financial Contracting in Agricultural Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 03-wp349, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:03-wp349
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bengt Holmstrom & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Financial Intermediation, Loanable Funds, and The Real Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(3), pages 663-691.
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    Cited by:

    1. Evans, Lewis & Meade, Richard, 2005. "The Role and Significance of Cooperatives in New Zealand Agriculture, A Comparative Institutional Analysis," Working Paper Series 3847, Victoria University of Wellington, The New Zealand Institute for the Study of Competition and Regulation.
    2. Richard Meade & Magnus Soderberg, 2017. "Welfare-Maximising Investors? – Utility Firm Performance with Heterogeneous Quality Preferences and Endogenous Ownership," Working Papers 2017-09 JEL Classificatio, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.

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