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Employee Stock Ownership vs. Profit Sharing

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  • Rick Harbaugh

    (Claremont McKenna College)

Abstract

The idea that profit sharing increases employment has been widely tested, but the theoretical basis for the claim is weak and the empirical results are ambiguous. This paper shows that employee stock ownership based on individually-held stakes avoids the problems of traditional profit sharing. Employee stock ownership shifts employment to the efficient level by either raising employment from an initial state of underemployment or decreasing it from an initial state of overemployment. Since the effect on employment is not unidirectional, empirical tests need to differentiate between traditional profit sharing and employee stock ownership and to condition on the initial state of employment.

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Paper provided by Claremont Colleges in its series Claremont Colleges Working Papers with number 2000-28.

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Handle: RePEc:clm:clmeco:2000-28

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Keywords: profit sharing; employee ownership; ESOPs; collective bargaining;

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  1. Andrew K.G. Hildreth and Andrew J. Oswald, . "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Economics Discussion Papers 425, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  2. Bell, Linda A & Neumark, David, 1993. "Lump-Sum Payments and Profit-Sharing Plans in the Union Sector of the United States Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(418), pages 602-19, May.
  3. Svejnar, Jan, 1986. "Bargaining Power, Fear of Disagreement, and Wage Settlements: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1055-78, September.
  4. Wadhwani, S. & Wall, M., 1988. "The Effects Of Profit-Sharing On Employment, Wages, Stock Returns And Productivity: Evidence From Uk Micro-Data," Papers 311, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  5. Andrew Oswald, 1984. "Efficient Contracts are on the Labour Demand Curve: Theory and Facts," Working Papers 555, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  6. Alexander, Carol & W Ledermann, 1994. "Are Nash bargaining wage agreements unique: an investigation into bargaining sets for firm-union negotiations," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/94, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  7. Oswald, Andrew J, 1985. " The Economic Theory of Trade Unions: An Introductory Survey," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 87(2), pages 160-93.
  8. Carruth, Alan A & Oswald, Andrew J, 1987. "On Union Preferences and Labour Market Models: Insiders and Outsi ders," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(386), pages 431-45, June.
  9. Weitzman, Martin L, 1987. "Steady State Unemployment under Profit Sharing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 86-105, March.
  10. Martin L. Weitzman, 1984. "The Simple Macroeconomics of Profit Sharing," Working papers 357, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Levine, David, 1987. "Efficiency wages in Weitzman's share economy," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 245-249.
  12. Kruse, Douglas L, 1992. "Profit Sharing and Productivity: Microeconomic Evidence from the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(410), pages 24-36, January.
  13. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
  14. Cahuc, P. & Dormont, B., 1992. "Profit-Sharing: Does It Increase Productivity and Employment? A Theoretical Model and Empirical Evidence of French Micro Data," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 92.45, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  15. Ognedal, Tone, 1992. "The effects of union owned shares on the outcome of wage bargaining," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 185-200, July.
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