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¿Las cooperativas de trabajadores degeneran?

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  • Andrés Dean

    () (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía)

Abstract

The degeneration hypothesis in labor-managed firms (LMFs) was originally formalized by the seminal contributions of Ben-Ner (1984) and Miyazaki (1984). Within these models, LMFs are collectively owned by workers-members who can hire employees from the labor market. The pursuit of efficiency or higher incomes would induce the successful coops to become more entrepreneurial and gradually disintegrate the labor-managed economies. Although it has been largely discussed, these models have rarely been contrasted empirically. This research presents new econometric evidence on the behavior of labor-managed firms, highlighting the differences within the firm between members and non-members. We use a comprehensive panel data set that covers the entire population of cooperative workers (members and employees) registered in the social security records in Uruguay from January 1997 to April 2010. We analyze the data to study the determinants of employees hiring in producer cooperatives and test the degeneration hypothesis, particularly the Ben-Ner’s and Miyazaki’s version. Our evidence suggests that Uruguayan labor-managed firms do not exhibit the kind of degeneration process suggested by the theoretical literature. We also consider the incidence in these results of the institutional framework and some specific features of Uruguayan coops. As studies of this kind are so few, our research provides a significant contribution to the empirical literature on labor managed firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrés Dean, 2014. "¿Las cooperativas de trabajadores degeneran?," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 14-01, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
  • Handle: RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-01-14
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    File URL: http://www.iecon.ccee.edu.uy/download.php?len=es&id=391&nbre=dt-01-14.pdf&ti=application/pdf&tc=Publicaciones
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Burdín, Gabriel, 2013. "Are Worker-Managed Firms Really More Likely to Fail?," IZA Discussion Papers 7412, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    5. Burdín, Gabriel & Dean, Andrés, 2012. "Revisiting the objectives of worker-managed firms: An empirical assessment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 158-171.
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    9. Guillermo Alves & Gabriel Burdin & Paula Carrasco & Andrés Dean & Andrés Rius, 2012. "Empleo, remuneraciones e inversión en cooperativas de trabajadores y empresas convencionales: nueva evidencia para Uruguay," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 12-14, Instituto de Economía - IECON.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alves, Guillermo & Burdín, Gabriel & Dean, Andrés, 2016. "Workplace democracy and job flows," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 258-271.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Degeneration; Labor-managed Firms; Worker Cooperatives;

    JEL classification:

    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • J54 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Producer Cooperatives; Labor Managed Firms

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