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When Workers Share in Profits: Effort and Responses to Shirking

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  • Richard Freeman

Abstract

This paper summarizes new evidence from the "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 European countries 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 workers pay depends on the productivity and effort of all workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Freeman, 2008. "When Workers Share in Profits: Effort and Responses to Shirking," CEP Discussion Papers dp0882, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0882
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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/dp0882.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Carpenter, Jeffrey P., 2007. "Punishing free-riders: How group size affects mutual monitoring and the provision of public goods," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 31-51, July.
    4. Martin Conyon & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "Shared Modes of Compensation and Firm Performance U.K. Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 109-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Freeman, Richard B. & Kruse, Douglas & Blasi, Joseph, 2008. "The same yet different: Worker reports on labour practices and outcomes in a single firm across countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 749-770, August.
    6. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    7. 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 1083-1105, December.
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    13. Douglas L. Kruse, 1993. "Profit Sharing: Does It Make a Difference?," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number ps, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Hummels & Jakob Munch & Chong Xiang, 2016. "No Pain, No Gain: The Effects of Exports on Effort, Injury, and Illness," NBER Working Papers 22365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Profit sharing; efficiency wages;

    JEL classification:

    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods

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