Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2015: Ökonomische Entwicklung - Theorie und Politik - Session: Financial Economics IV D10-V2
This paper analyzes the governance and performance of firms which, according to simplistic agency theory, should not be viable. These firms are fully or partially owned by a foundation which itself is not owned by natural or legal persons. Therefore, residual claimholders have restricted or no influence on corporate governance. The lack of owners strengthens other stakeholders, in particular employees. Relative to matching family firms, German foundation owned firms are larger in terms of employees and operating revenue, and substitute labor for material, but not for capital. Their hiring and firing policy is about the same. They follow a more conservative financing policy, their financial performance is somewhat weaker.