We analyze the relationship between managerial ownership and company performance, testing the incentive and entrenchment hypothesis. Differently from previous literature, we focus on small and medium-sized private enterprises which constitute an important part of the German economy. We use a panel of 356 companies in the German business-related service sector for the years 1997-2000. Our findings are that performance, measured by survey-based profit information, is increasing in managerial ownership up to around 40 percent. We do not find a significant entrenchment effect, possibly because at levels at which managers could become entrenched, they already bear a large proportion of the costs and have therefore an incentive to maximize company value.

Müller, Elisabeth and Alexandra Spitz-Oener (2001), Managerial Ownership and Firm Performance in German Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises, ZEW Discussion Paper No. 01-72, Mannheim. Download


Müller, Elisabeth
Spitz-Oener, Alexandra


company performance, managerial ownership, corporate governance, small and medium-sized enterprises