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The contributions of behavioural economics to understanding and advancing the sustainability of worker cooperatives

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  • Avner Ben-Ner

    ()
    (University of Minnesota)

  • Matthew Ellman

    ()
    (Institute for Economic Analysis)

Abstract

We characterize how just-selfish workers are incompatible with long-run success in workers’ cooperatives. Emphasizing mutual monitoring as key to cooperatives’ organization design to combat “shirking” we discuss what possible mixes of behavioral types in the membership of a cooperative are compatible with sustainable success. Sustainability depends on social preferences and cooperative norms that are compatible with low levels of shirking and high levels of mutual monitoring. When worker types are partly unobservable, cooperatives must be more attractive to the types of workers they value most as members. We describe measures that enhance cooperative norms and measures that mitigate adverse selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises in its journal Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity.

Volume (Year): 2 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 75-100

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Handle: RePEc:trn:csnjrn:v:2:i:1:p:75-100

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Keywords: Cooperative enterprises;

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References

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Cited by:
  1. Andrés Dean, 2014. "¿Las cooperativas de trabajadores degeneran?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 14-01, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
  2. Ben-Ner, Avner, 2013. "Preferences and organization structure: Toward behavioral economics micro-foundations of organizational analysis," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 87-96.
  3. Ermanno Tortia & Martha Knox Haly & Anthony Jensen, . "Workers' propensity to cooperate with colleagues and the general population: a comparison based on a field experiment," Econometica Working Papers wp52, Econometica.

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