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Share capitalism and worker wellbeing

Author

Listed:
  • Bryson, Alex
  • Clark, Andrew E.
  • Freeman, Richard B.
  • Green, Colin P.

Abstract

We show that worker wellbeing is not only related to the amount of compensation workers receive but also how they receive it. While previous theoretical and empirical work has often been pre-occupied with individual performance-related pay, we here demonstrate a robust positive link between the receipt of a range of group performance schemes (profit shares, group bonuses and share ownership) and job satisfaction. Critically, this relationship remains after conditioning on wage levels, which suggests these pay methods provide utility to workers in addition to that through higher wages. These findings survive a variety of methods aimed at accounting for unobserved individual and job-specific characteristics. We investigate two potential channels for this effect. We first demonstrate that half of the positive effect can be accounted for by employees’ tendency to reciprocate in return for the “gift” of share capitalism. Second, we show that these ‘share capitalist’ modes of pay dampen the negative wellbeing effects of what we typically think of as “bad” aspects of job quality. Finally, share-capitalist pay methods also have positive wellbeing spill-over effects on co-workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Bryson, Alex & Clark, Andrew E. & Freeman, Richard B. & Green, Colin P., 2015. "Share capitalism and worker wellbeing," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61027, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:61027
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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/61027/
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Cited by:

    1. Emmanuel Petrakis & Panagiotis Skartados, 2018. "Strategic Profit–Sharing in a Unionized Differentiated Goods Duopoly," Working Papers 1801, University of Crete, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job satisfaction; wages; compensation methods; working conditions;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • M52 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Compensation and Compensation Methods and Their Effects

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