Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-Based Stock Options

University of Chicago Press
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The historical relationship between capital and labor has evolved in the past few decades. One particularly noteworthy development is the rise of shared capitalism, a system in which workers have become partial owners of their firms and thus, in effect, both employees and stockholders. Profit sharing arrangements and gain-sharing bonuses, which tie compensation directly to a firm’s performance, also reflect this new attitude toward labor.

Shared Capitalism at Work
analyzes the effects of this trend on workers and firms. The contributors focus on four main areas: the fraction of firms that participate in shared capitalism programs in the United States and abroad, the factors that enable these firms to overcome classic free rider and risk problems, the effect of shared capitalism on firm performance, and the impact of shared capitalism on worker well-being. This volume provides essential studies for understanding the increasingly important role of shared capitalism in the modern workplace.
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About the author

Douglas L. Kruse is professor in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Richard B. Freeman holds the Herbert Ascherman Chair in Economics at Harvard University and is a research associate of the NBER. He is the former director of the NBER Labor Studies program. Joseph R. Blasi holds the J. Robert Beyster Chair in the School of Management and Labor Relations at Rutgers University and is a research associate of the NBER.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Jun 15, 2010
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780226056968
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Economics / General
Business & Economics / General
Business & Economics / Industries / General
Business & Economics / Labor
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Richard B. Freeman
The U.S. labor market is the most laissez faire of any developed nation, with a weak social safety net and little government regulation compared to Europe or Japan. Some economists point to this hands-off approach as the source of America’s low unemployment and high per-capita income. But the stagnant living standards and rising economic insecurity many Americans now face take some of the luster off the U.S. model. In America Works, noted economist Richard Freeman reveals how U.S. policies have created a labor market remarkable both for its dynamism and its disparities.

America Works takes readers on a grand tour of America’s exceptional labor market, comparing the economic institutions and performance of the United States to the economies of Europe and other wealthy countries. The U.S. economy has an impressive track record when it comes to job creation and productivity growth, but it isn’t so good at reducing poverty or raising the wages of the average worker. Despite huge gains in productivity, most Americans are hardly better off than they were a generation ago. The median wage is actually lower now than in the early 1970s, and the poverty rate in 2005 was higher than in 1969. So why have the benefits of productivity growth been distributed so unevenly? One reason is that unions have been steadily declining in membership. In Europe, labor laws extend collective bargaining settlements to non-unionized firms. Because wage agreements in America only apply to firms where workers are unionized, American managers have discouraged unionization drives more aggressively. In addition, globalization and immigration have placed growing competitive pressure on American workers. And boards of directors appointed by CEOs have raised executive pay to astronomical levels. Freeman addresses these problems with a variety of proposals designed to maintain the vigor of the U.S. economy while spreading more of its benefits to working Americans. To maintain America’s global competitive edge, Freeman calls for increased R&D spending and financial incentives for students pursuing graduate studies in science and engineering. To improve corporate governance, he advocates licensing individuals who serve on corporate boards. Freeman also makes the case for fostering worker associations outside of the confines of traditional unions and for establishing a federal agency to promote profit-sharing and employee ownership.

Assessing the performance of the U.S. job market in light of other developed countries’ recent history highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the free market model. Written with authoritative knowledge and incisive wit, America Works provides a compelling plan for how we can make markets work better for all Americans.

A Volume in the Russell Sage Foundation's Centennial Series

Hristos Doucouliagos
Richard B. Freeman and James L. Medoff’s now classic 1984 book What Do Unions Do? stimulated an enormous theoretical and empirical literature on the economic impact of trade unions. Trade unions continue to be a significant feature of many labor markets, particularly in developing countries, and issues of labor market regulations and labor institutions remain critically important to researchers and policy makers.

The relations between unions and management can range between cooperation and conflict; unions have powerful offsetting wage and non-wage effects that economists and other social scientists have long debated. Do the benefits of unionism exceed the costs to the economy and society writ large, or do the costs exceed the benefits? The Economics of Trade Unions offers the first comprehensive review, analysis and evaluation of the empirical literature on the microeconomic effects of trade unions using the tools of meta-regression analysis to identify and quantify the economic impact of trade unions, as well as to correct research design faults, the effects of selection bias and model misspecification.

This volume makes use of a unique dataset of hundreds of empirical studies and their reported estimates of the microeconomic impact of trade unions. Written by three authors who have been at the forefront of this research field (including the co-author of the original volume, What Do Unions Do?), this book offers an overview of a subject that is of huge importance to scholars of labor economics, industrial and employee relations, and human resource management, as well as those with an interest in meta-analysis.

Jonathan Michie
The Oxford Handbook of Mutuals and Co-Owned Business investigates all types of 'member owned' organizations, whether consumer co-operatives, agricultural and producer co-operatives, worker co-operatives, mutual building societies, friendly societies, credit unions, solidarity organizations, mutual insurance companies, or employee-owned companies. Such organizations can be owned by their consumers, the producers, or the employees - whether through single-stakeholder or multi-stakeholder ownership. This complex set of organizations is named differently across countries: from 'mutual' in the UK, to 'solidarity cooperatives' in Latin America. In some countries, such organizations are not even officially recognized and thus lack a specific denomination. For the sake of clarity, this Handbook will refer to member-owned organizations to encompass the variety of non-investor-owned organizations, and in the national case study chapters the terms used will be those most widely employed in that country. These alternative corporate forms have emerged in a variety of economic sectors in almost all advanced economies since the time of the industrial revolution and the development of capitalism, through the subsequent creation and dominance of the limited liability company. Until recently, these organizations were generally regarded as a rather marginal component of the economy. However, over the past few years, member-owned organizations have come to be seen in some countries, at least, as potentially attractive in light of their ability to tackle various economic and social concerns, and their relative resilience during the financial and economic crises of 2007-2013.
Jonathan Michie
The Oxford Handbook of Mutuals and Co-Owned Business investigates all types of 'member owned' organizations, whether consumer co-operatives, agricultural and producer co-operatives, worker co-operatives, mutual building societies, friendly societies, credit unions, solidarity organizations, mutual insurance companies, or employee-owned companies. Such organizations can be owned by their consumers, the producers, or the employees - whether through single-stakeholder or multi-stakeholder ownership. This complex set of organizations is named differently across countries: from 'mutual' in the UK, to 'solidarity cooperatives' in Latin America. In some countries, such organizations are not even officially recognized and thus lack a specific denomination. For the sake of clarity, this Handbook will refer to member-owned organizations to encompass the variety of non-investor-owned organizations, and in the national case study chapters the terms used will be those most widely employed in that country. These alternative corporate forms have emerged in a variety of economic sectors in almost all advanced economies since the time of the industrial revolution and the development of capitalism, through the subsequent creation and dominance of the limited liability company. Until recently, these organizations were generally regarded as a rather marginal component of the economy. However, over the past few years, member-owned organizations have come to be seen in some countries, at least, as potentially attractive in light of their ability to tackle various economic and social concerns, and their relative resilience during the financial and economic crises of 2007-2013.
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