Do Workers Gain by Sharing? Employee Outcomes Under Employee Ownership, Profit Sharing, and Broad-Based Stock Options  - CLEO Skip to main content


Today, more employees than ever before have ownership stakes in their firms through ESOPs and firm-based stock ownership plans, receive stock options once limited to top executives, and are covered by profit-sharing plans. The media has publicized both the rewards and dangers of tying worker pay and wealth to company performance. The 1990’s produced manystories of regular employees becoming millionaires by working in Silicon Valley firms with broad-based options that paid off handsomely. The early 2000’s produced stories about Enron employees losing their retirement moneys in a 401(k) plan that was heavily concentrated in company stock. Apart from the extreme cases that get publicized, are these programs generally good or bad for workers?

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