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To Join or Not to Join? Factors Influencing Employee Share Plan Membership in a Multinational Corporation

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  • Dr Alex Bryson

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Abstract

Many firms encourage employees to own company stock through share plans that subsidise the price at favorable rates, but even so many employees do not buy shares. Using a new survey of employees in a multinational with a share ownership plan, we find considerable variation in joining among observationally equivalent workers and explore the reasons for the variation. Participation in the plan is higher the greater the potential pay-off from joining the share plan, which indicates that rational economic calculations affect the decision to join. But there is also evidence that psychological factors affect the decision to join. Some non members say they intend to join in the future, which means they forgo the benefits of immediate membership. The proportion of workers who purchase shares varies across workplaces beyond what we predict from worker characteristics. This suggests that co-worker behavior influences decisions. Indeed, workers say that they pay most attention to other workers and little attention to company HR management in their decision on joining.

Suggested Citation

  • Dr Alex Bryson, 2010. "To Join or Not to Join? Factors Influencing Employee Share Plan Membership in a Multinational Corporation," National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) Discussion Papers 361, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:nsr:niesrd:2704
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Edward L. Glaeser & Bruce Sacerdote & José A. Scheinkman, 1996. "Crime and Social Interactions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 507-548.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bryson, Alex & Clark, Andrew E. & Freeman, Richard B. & Green, Colin P., 2016. "Share capitalism and worker wellbeing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 151-158.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J5 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J83 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Workers' Rights
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior

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