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Non-Public Shareholders? Ownership and Economic Performance in the Urban Public-Transport Companies. Empirical Evidence From European Union

PAQ, Vol. 40 No. 1, (2016)

Urban mobility (UM) represents an increasingly important field in European Union policy agenda. The growing complexity of citizens? needs and the criticalities related to the global economic downturn have reduced the amount of the public expenditure that can be invested to cover the UM systems? requirements. From this perspective, private funding is unavoidable. Public-private partnerships are more and more widespread. In particular, we look to a more relevant non-public shareholders? presence in the ownership structure of urban public- transport companies. Many scholars have investigated the relationship between the presence of non-public shareholders and the economic performance generated by these companies. Nevertheless, less attention is paid to the ?intensity? of non-public shareholders? presence on firm performance. Moreover, cross-country comparisons are infrequently explored.
In light of these considerations, this paper aims to test whether a lesser or higher presence (i.e. the intensity) of non-public shareholders in the ownership structure of the urban public-transport companies can affect economic performance. This research issue is investigated by statistical methodologies focusing on a sample made up by 333 companies operating in 12 European Union countries.
Findings, managerial implications and suggestions for future research are outlined and discussed.

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