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When Workers Share in Profits: Effort and Responses to Shirking

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  • Richard B. Freeman

Abstract

This paper summarizes new evidence from the National Bureau of Economic Research “Shared Capitalism†Project on the extent to which workers’ earnings depend on the performance of their firm or work group in the US and advanced Europe and on the impact of sharing arrangements on economic behavior. The evidence shows that: 1) a large and growing proportion of workers are covered by shared capitalism through worker profit-sharing, bonuses, or worker ownership of shares; 2) outcomes for workers and firms are higher under shared capitalism than under other work and pay arrangements; and 3) that worker co-monitoring helps overcome the free rider problem that arises when part of pay depends on the productivity and effort of all workers.

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File URL: http://www.rivistapoliticaeconomica.it/2007/nov-dic/pdf/freeman_ing.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by SIPI Spa in its journal 'Angelo Costa' Lectures Serie.

Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): Lect. IX ()
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:rpo:leanco:2008

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  1. Joseph Blasi & Michael Conte & Douglas Kruse, 1996. "Employee stock ownership and corporate performance among public companies," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 60-79, October.
  2. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2004. "Punishing Free-Riders: How Group Size Affects Mutual Monitoring and the Provision of Public Goods," IZA Discussion Papers 1337, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  4. Craig, Ben & Pencavel, John, 1992. "The Behavior of Worker Cooperatives: The Plywood Companies of the Pacific Northwest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1083-105, December.
  5. Richard B. Freeman & Douglas Kruse & Joseph Blasi, 2007. "The Same Yet Different: Worker Reports on Labour Practices and Outcomes in a Single Firm Across Countries," NBER Working Papers 13233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jensen, Michael C. & Meckling, William H., 1976. "Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 305-360, October.
  7. Jones, Derek C & Kato, Takao, 1995. "The Productivity Effects of Employee Stock-Ownership Plans and Bonuses: Evidence from Japanese Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 391-414, June.
  8. Martin J. Conyon & Richard B. Freeman, 2002. "Shared modes of compensation and firm performance: UK evidence," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20060, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  9. Gaynor, Martin & Pauly, Mark V, 1990. "Compensation and Productive Efficiency of Partnerships: Evidence from Medical Group Practice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 98(3), pages 544-73, June.
  10. Hirshlifer, David & Rassmusen, Eric, 1989. "Cooperation in a repeated prisoners' dilemma with ostracism," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 87-106, August.
  11. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps.
  12. Kandel, E. & Lazear, E.P., 1990. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Papers 90-07, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  13. Leibowitz, Arleen & Tollison, Robert, 1980. "Free Riding, Shirking, and Team Production in Legal Partnerships," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 18(3), pages 380-94, July.
  14. Fudenberg, Drew & Maskin, Eric, 1986. "The Folk Theorem in Repeated Games with Discounting or with Incomplete Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(3), pages 533-54, May.
  15. Knez, Marc & Simester, Duncan, 2001. "Firm-Wide Incentives and Mutual Monitoring at Continental Airlines," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 19(4), pages 743-72, October.
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