These class notes were written by John Pencavel of the Stanford University Department of Economics for a 2018 undergraduate class in Labor Economics. They were intended to provide the students with background on worker owned and worker managed firms. Students were expected to read these notes before Dr. Pencavel’s lecture.
The authors investigate how worker-owned and capitalist enterprises differ with respect to wages, employment, and capital in Italy, the market economy with the greatest incidence of worker-owned and worker-managed firms.
The purpose of this book is to consider some consequences of worker participation in production and to provide an accessible economics perspective on two groups of worker co-ops in the Pacific Northwest: the plywood co-ops and the forestry worker co-ops.
A perennial issue is the study of organizational behavior is the impact on productivity of participation by workers in a firm’s decisionmaking. The question has returned to the foreground is the recent debate over policies to increase U.S. productivity growth.