On the Neutrality of Asset Ownership for Work Incentives
Two ownership systems are compared: one where outsiders own the physical assets of firms and another where these assets are jointly owned by workers. Effort and side payments are self-enforced. Market-wide incentive constraints lead to restrictions on the distribution of profit between capital and labor which differ for the two systems. But these asymmetries are exactly offset by the bundling of input returns in a joint ownership economy, so for any self-enforcing equilibrium on the second-best frontier of one system there exists an equivalent equilibrium on the frontier of the other. An efficient outside ownership economy cannot be destabilized by spontaneous transitions to joint ownership or conversely. When capital is scarce, welfare maximization requires that all profit go to workers, but when labor is scarce all profit should go to asset owners.
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|Date of creation:||1999|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada|
Web page: http://www.sfu.ca/economics.html
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- Dow, G & Putterman, L, 1996. "Why Capital (Usually) Hires Labor : An Assessment of Proposed Explanations," Discussion Papers dp97-03, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
- Putterman, Louis & Skillman, Gilbert L., 1992. "The role of exit costs in the theory of cooperative teams," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(4), pages 596-618, December.
- Dow, Gregory K., 1986. "Control rights, competitive markets, and the labor management debate," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 48-61, March.
- Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1991. "Multitask Principal-Agent Analyses: Incentive Contracts, Asset Ownership, and Job Design," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 7(0), pages 24-52, Special I.
- Gregory Dow, 1996. "Replicating Walrasian equilibria using markets for membership in labor-managed firms," Review of Economic Design, Springer;Society for Economic Design, vol. 2(1), pages 147-162, December.
- Dow, Gregory K, 1993. "Why Capital Hires Labor: A Bargaining Perspective," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 118-134, March.
- Dong Xiao-yuan & Dow Gregory K., 1993. "Does Free Exit Reduce Shirking in Production Teams?," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 472-484, June.
- David Andolfatto & Ed Nosal, 1997. "Optimal Team Contracts," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 30(2), pages 385-396, May.