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When Workers Share in Profits: Effort and Responses to Shirking

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  • Richard B. Freeman

    () (Harvard University, NBER Centre for Economic Performance and LSE)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard B. Freeman, 2007. "When Workers Share in Profits: Effort and Responses to Shirking," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 97(6), pages 9-36, November-.
  • Handle: RePEc:rpo:ripoec:v:97:y:2007:i:6:p:9-36
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    Cited by:

    1. Dong, Lu & Falvey, Rod & Luckraz, Shravan, 2019. "Fair share and social efficiency: A mechanism in which peers decide on the payoff division," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 209-224.
    2. David Hummels & Jakob Munch & Chong Xiang, 2016. "No Pain, No Gain: Work Demand, Work Effort, and Worker Health," NBER Working Papers 22365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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