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Shared Capitalism in the U.S. Economy? Prevalence, Characteristics, and Employee Views of Financial Participation in Enterprises

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  • Douglas L. Kruse
  • Joseph R. Blasi
  • Rhokeun Park
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    Abstract

    Between one-third and one-half of employees participate directly in company performance through profit sharing, gainsharing, employee ownership, or stock options. This flies in the face of concerns about the free rider problem and worker risk aversion in group incentives, and raises many questions about the effects on firms and workers. This paper lays out the major reasons we may see such "shared capitalism" plans, and reviews recent nationally representative surveys on the prevalence of these plans. We also introduce the NBER shared capitalism data, based on questions added to the 2002 and 2006 General Social Surveys (GSS) and more than 40,000 employee surveys from 14 companies with different combinations of shared capitalism plans. We find that while shared capitalism exists broadly throughout the economy, it is more likely in larger establishments. The free rider effect may be countered by the use of other policies to create productive teamwork and a cooperative culture: shared capitalism is positively linked to workplace decision-making, training, job security, teamwork, the ability to easily observe co-worker performance, and low levels of supervision. Also, more risk-averse employees avoid participating in several types of shared capitalism, but two-thirds of even the most risk-averse employees in these companies say they want shared capitalism as part of their pay package. The effects of these plans for both workers and firms are more fully explored in accompanying papers.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14225.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2008
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    Publication status: published as Shared Capitalism in the U.S. Economy: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Employee Views of Financial Participation in Enterprises , Douglas L. Kruse, Joseph R. Blasi, Rhokeun Park. in Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options , Kruse, Freeman, and Blasi. 2010
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14225

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    References

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    1. Gregg, P. A. & Machin, S. J., 1988. "Unions and the incidence of performance linked pay schemes in Britain," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 91-107, March.
    2. 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, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 391-414, June.
    3. Freeman, Richard B & Kleiner, Morris M, 1990. "The Impact of New Unionization on Wages and Working Conditions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages S8-25, January.
    4. John W. Budd, 2010. "Does Employee Ignorance Undermine Shared Capitalism?," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 291-316 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2004. "Why Do Some Firms Give Stock Options To All Employees?: An Empirical Examination of Alternative Theories," Research Papers, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business 1772r, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    6. FitzRoy, Felix R. & Kraft, Kornelius, 1995. "On the choice of incentives in firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 145-160, January.
    7. Richard Freeman & Douglas Kruse & Joseph Blasi, 2008. "Worker Responses To Shirking Under Shared Capitalism," NBER Working Papers 14227, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Craig, Ben & Pencavel, John, 1992. "The Behavior of Worker Cooperatives: The Plywood Companies of the Pacific Northwest," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1083-105, December.
    9. Takao Kato & Ju HO Lee & Kang-sung Lee & Jang-soo Ryu, 2005. "Employee participation and involvement in korea: evidence from a new survey and field research," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(2), pages 251-281.
    10. Putterman, Louis & Skillman, Gil Jr., 1988. "The incentive effects of monitoring under alternative compensation schemes," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 109-119, March.
    11. Joseph R. Blasi & Douglas L. Kruse & Harry M. Markowitz, 2010. "Risk and Lack of Diversification under Employee Ownership and Shared Capitalism," NBER Chapters, in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 105-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Smith, Stephen C. & Cin, Beom-Cheol & Vodopivec, Milan, 1997. "Privatization Incidence, Ownership Forms, and Firm Performance: Evidence from Slovenia," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 158-179, October.
    13. repec:nbr:nberwo:14233 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    15. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps.
    16. Brent Boning & Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2001. "Opportunity Counts: Teams and the Effectiveness of Production Incentives," NBER Working Papers 8306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Kochan, Thomas A., 1996. "What works at work : overview and assessment," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management 3886-96., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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    Cited by:
    1. Robert Buchele & Douglas Kruse & Loren Rodgers & Adria Scharf, 2009. "Show Me the Money: Does Shared Capitalism Share the Wealth?," NBER Working Papers 14830, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "Insider Econometrics: Empirical Studies of How Management Matters," NBER Working Papers 15618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Leonid Krasnozhon, 2011. "Property rights and farm efficiency: evidence from Ukraine," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, Springer, vol. 44(4), pages 279-295, November.

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