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Does Employee Ignorance Undermine Shared Capitalism?


  • John W. Budd


The potential of shared capitalism to improve individual and organizational performance through financial incentives depends on employees knowing about and participating in compensation plans that link rewards to performance. This paper therefore analyzes a survey of employees from multiple companies to assess the extent to which employees are ignorant about company, group, and individual-based incentive pay plans and ESOPs. The findings reveal significant amounts of employee ignorance in both under- and overstating the extent to which such plans apply to them individually.

Suggested Citation

  • John W. Budd, 2008. "Does Employee Ignorance Undermine Shared Capitalism?," NBER Working Papers 14236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14236
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John W. Budd & Brian P. McCall, 1997. "The Effect of Unions on the Receipt of Unemployment Insurance Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(3), pages 478-492, April.
    2. John W. Budd & Karen Mumford, 2004. "Trade Unions and Family-Friendly Policies in Britain," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 57(2), pages 204-222, January.
    3. Budd, John W. & Mumford, Karen A., 2005. "Family-Friendly Work Practices in Britain: Availability and Perceived Accessibility," IZA Discussion Papers 1662, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Sewin Chan & Ann Huff Stevens, 2008. "What You Don't Know Can't Help You: Pension Knowledge and Retirement Decision-Making," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 253-266, May.
    5. 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.
    6. Richard B. Freeman & Joni Hersch & Lawrence Mishel, 2004. "Emerging Labor Market Institutions for the Twenty-First Century," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number free04-1, January.
    7. Mitchell, Olivia S, 1988. "Worker Knowledge of Pension Provisions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 21-39, January.
    8. David Card & Richard Blundell & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number card04-1, January.
    9. James T. Bennett & Bruce E. Kaufman, 2004. "What Do Unions Do?: A Twenty-Year Perspective," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(3), pages 339-350, July.
    10. McCall, Brian P, 1995. "The Impact of Unemployment Insurance Benefit Levels on Recipiency," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 189-198, April.
    11. John W. Budd, 2004. "Non-Wage Forms of Compensation," Journal of Labor Research, Transaction Publishers, vol. 25(4), pages 597-622, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bryson, Alex & Freeman, Richard B., 2010. "To join or not to join? Factors influencing employee share plan membership in a multinational corporation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 48915, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi & Rhokeun Park, 2010. "Shared Capitalism in the U.S. Economy: Prevalence, Characteristics, and Employee Views of Financial Participation in Enterprises," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 41-75 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

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

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