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Show Me the Money: Does Shared Capitalism Share the Wealth?

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  • Robert Buchele
  • Douglas Kruse
  • Loren Rodgers
  • Adria Scharf

Abstract

This paper examines the effect of a variety of employee ownership programs on employees' holdings of their employers' stock, their earnings and their wealth. Two major datasets are employed: the NBER Shared Capitalism Research Project employee survey dataset and the 2002 and 2006 national General Social Surveys (GSS). The GSS national survey shows that 29% of permanent, full-time employees with at least one year on the job own their employers' stock, compared to the unsurprisingly higher 87% of employees in the NBER "shared capitalist" firms. The employees in the national sample hold an average of $10,600 of employer stock, compared to $52,800 in the NBER sample. Employee owners in NBER companies with broad-based ownership structures fare better: those in majority-owned ESOPs hold on average $86,000 in company stock and those in broad-based stock option plans hold options worth an average of $283,000. We find no evidence -- either between datasets or between employee-owners and non-owners within datasets -- of substitution of company stock ownership for pay or benefits. Moreover, our analysis suggests that company stock ownership substantially raises total employee wealth, though it appears to have little effect on the overall distribution of wealth. These results suggest that employee ownership tends to raise both ownership stakes and economic resources of American workers across the economic spectrum.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14830
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward N. Wolff, 2005. "Is the Equalizing Effect of Retirement Wealth Wearing Off?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_420, Levy Economics Institute.
    2. Douglas L. Kruse & Richard B. Freeman & Joseph R. Blasi, 2010. "Do Workers Gain by Sharing? Employee Outcomes under Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing, and Broad-Based Stock Options," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 257-289 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Edward N. Wolff, 2004. "Changes in Household Wealth in the 1980s and 1990s in the U.S," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_407, Levy Economics Institute.
    4. John Pencavel & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2006. "Wages, Employment, and Capital in Capitalist and Worker-Owned Firms," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 23-44, October.
    5. 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.
    6. Joseph Blasi & Michael Conte & Douglas Kruse, 1996. "Employee Stock Ownership and Corporate Performance among Public Companies," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 50(1), pages 60-79, October.
    7. Richard B. Freeman & Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi, 2010. "Worker Responses to Shirking under Shared Capitalism," NBER Chapters,in: Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options, pages 77-103 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Erika Harden & Douglas L. Kruse & Joseph R. Blasi, 2008. "Who Has a Better Idea? Innovation, Shared Capitalism, and HR Policies," NBER Working Papers 14234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Artz, Georgeanne M. & Kim, Younjun, 2011. "Business Ownership by Workers: Are Worker Cooperatives a Viable Option?," Staff General Research Papers Archive 34575, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • 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

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