IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Does workers’ control affect firm survival? Evidence from Uruguay

  • Gabriel Burdin


    (Universidad de la República (Uruguay). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y de Administración. Instituto de Economía / University of Siena (Italia). Department of Economics.)

Worker-managed firms (WMFs) represent a marginal proportion of total firms and aggregate employment in most countries. The bulk of firms in real economies is ultimately controlled by capital suppliers. Different theoretical explanations suggest that WMFs are prone to failure in competitive environments. Using a panel of Uruguayan firms based on social security records and including the entire population of WMFs over the period January 1997-July 2009, I present new evidence on worker managed firms´ survival. I find that the hazard of exit is 24%-38% lower for WMFs than for conventional firms. This result is robust to alternative estimation strategies based on semi-parametric and parametric frailty duration models that impose different distributional assumptions about the shape of the baseline hazard and allow to consider firm-level unobserved heterogeneity. The evidence suggests that the marginal presence of WMFs in market economies can hardly be explained by the fact that these organizations exhibit lower survival chances than conventional firms. This paper adds to the literature on labor-managed firms, shared capitalism and to the industrial organization literature on firm survival.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Instituto de Economía - IECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 12-06.

in new window

Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: May 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-06-12
Contact details of provider: Postal: Joaquín Requena 1375, CP 11200, Montevideo
Phone: (598) 2400-0406
Fax: (598) 2419-8727
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Alex Bryson, 2004. "Unions and Workplace Closure in Britain, 1990-1998," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(2), pages 282-302, 06.
  2. Alex Bryson & Richard Freeman & Claudio Lucifora & Michele Pellizzari & Virginie Perotin, 2012. "Paying for Performance: Incentive Pay Schemes and Employees' Financial Participation," CEP Discussion Papers dp1112, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  3. John Pencavel & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2006. "Wages, employment, and capital in capitalist and worker-owned firms," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 60(1), pages 23-44, October.
  4. Grund, Christian & Westergård-Nielsen, Niels C., 2004. "The Dispersion of Employees’ Wage Increases and Firm Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 1402, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Mario Cleves & William W. Gould & Roberto G. Gutierrez & Yulia Marchenko, 2010. "An Introduction to Survival Analysis Using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, edition 3, number saus3, November.
  6. John Pencavel, 2012. "Worker Cooperatives and Democratic Governance," Discussion Papers 12-003, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  7. Richard B. Freeman & Morris M. Kleiner, 1999. "Do Unions Make Enterprises Insolvent?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 52(4), pages 510-527, July.
  8. Santarelli, Enrico & Vivarelli, Marco, 2006. "Entrepreneurship and the Process of Firms’ Entry, Survival and Growth," IZA Discussion Papers 2475, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  9. Bonin, John P & Jones, Derek C & Putterman, Louis, 1993. "Theoretical and Empirical Studies of Producer Cooperatives: Will Ever the Twain Meet?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1290-320, September.
  10. Pfeiffer, Friedhelm & Reize, Frank, 1998. "Business Start-ups by the Unemployed - an Econometric Analysis Based on Firm Data," ZEW Discussion Papers 98-38, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  11. P.A. Geroski & José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2007. "Founding Conditions and the Survival of New Firms," DRUID Working Papers 07-11, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  12. Silviano Pérez & Amparo Llopis & Juan Llopis, 2004. "The Determinants of Survival of Spanish Manufacturing Firms," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer, vol. 25(3), pages 251-273, 08.
  13. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-45, September.
  14. Douglas L. Kruse & Richard B. Freeman & Joseph R. Blasi, 2010. "Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain Sharing, and Broad-based Stock Options," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krus08-1, July.
  15. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1999. "Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 555-72.
  16. 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.
  17. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  18. Ran Abramitzky, 2008. "The Limits of Equality: Insights from the Israeli Kibbutz," Discussion Papers 07-048, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  19. Dow, Gregory K. & Putterman, Louis, 2000. "Why capital suppliers (usually) hire workers: what we know and what we need to know," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 319-336, November.
  20. Ran Abramitzky, 2008. "The Limits of Equality: Insights from the Israeli Kibbutz," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1111-1159, August.
  21. Martins, Pedro S., 2008. "Dispersion in wage premiums and firm performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 63-65, October.
  22. Richard B. Freeman & Joseph R. Blasi & Douglas L. Kruse, 2010. "Introduction to "Shared Capitalism at Work: Employee Ownership, Profit and Gain 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 1-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Ben-Ner, Avner, 1988. "Comparative empirical observations on worker-owned and capitalist firms," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 7-31, March.
  24. Michael Kremer, 1997. "Why are Worker Cooperatives So Rare?," NBER Working Papers 6118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Levine, David I. & Parkin, Richard J., 1994. "Work organization, employment security, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 251-271, August.
  26. Burdín, Gabriel & Dean, Andrés, 2012. "Revisiting the objectives of worker-managed firms: An empirical assessment," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 158-171.
  27. Eric Bartelsman & Stefano Scarpetta & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Comparative analysis of firm demographics and survival: evidence from micro-level sources in OECD countries," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 14(3), pages 365-391, June.
  28. Ben-ner, Avner, 1984. "On the stability of the cooperative type of organization," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 247-260, September.
  29. Burdín, Gabriel & Dean, Andrés, 2009. "New evidence on wages and employment in worker cooperatives compared with capitalist firms," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 517-533, December.
  30. Levine, David, 1989. "Cohesiveness, Productivity, and Wage Dispersion," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt8kd4d0p4, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  31. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2001. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262232197, June.
  32. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2004. "Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 533-558, November.
  33. Samuel Bowles & Herbert Gintis, 1994. "Credit Market Imperfections And The Incidence Of Worker-Owned Firms," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(3), pages 209-223, October.
  34. Heyman, Fredrik, 2002. "Pay Inequality and Firm Performance: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series 186, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  35. Dow,Gregory K., 2003. "Governing the Firm," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521818537, October.
  36. Geroski, P. A., 1995. "What do we know about entry?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 421-440, December.
  37. Carpenter, Jeffrey & Bowles, Samuel & Gintis, Herbert & Hwang, Sung-Ha, 2009. "Strong reciprocity and team production: Theory and evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 221-232, August.
  38. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulr:wpaper:dt-06-12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andrés Dean)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.