Performance of traditional cooperatives: the portuguese Douro wine cooperatives

João Rebelo, José Caldas, Scott C. Matulich


Globalization is challenging the very core of cooperative governance and ownership decision, especially in Southern European countries, like Portugal, where a large number of producers are organized in traditional and Mediterranean-style agricultural cooperatives. This paper analyses the effects of governance and control variables related with size over two alternative indicators of performance: revenues transferred to members/patrons and capital structure. The results suggest that these cooperatives have difficulties being sustainable in the more competitive global wine markets, if they follow, essentially, a practice of maximum patronage refund, reducing their capacity to improve leverage and to finance more profitable, but risky, long run investments.


Econometric model; Economic analysis; Traditional cooperatives; Wine sector

Subject classification

Q13, D22, L25.

Full Text:



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