Agency Costs and Ownership Structure in Oil Industry

Abstract This work focuses on analyzing the influence of government ownership of oil companies listed on US stock exchanges on its agency costs, taking into account characteristics of such companies that may interfere on this relationship. Results indicate that companies on which governments hold a stake tend to present higher agency costs than its private peers when we consider asset utilization efficiency. Measuring it by a discretionary expenses index, the coefficients suggest the same conclusion, although they are not statistically significant. In addition, companies’ size and leverage were found to be relevant factors.