Wages don’t cover the bills. Wealth inequality is growing. Social trust is eroding. There are endless debates about what to do, but one key factor is inexplicably left out: who owns the companies that drive the economy? Ownership matters. Ownership by a few means benefits for a few. But if you spread ownership around, you … Read More
The field of broad-based employee ownership within corporations is a specific application of the foundational topic of property ownership. It is situated at the intersection of a broad range of scholarly disciplines including economics, law, finance and management. Each discipline contributes vocabulary and distinctions describing this field. That broad spectrum of disciplinary inquiry is a … Read More
Employee ownership has attracted growing attention for its potential to improve economic outcomes for companies, workers, and the economy in general, and help reduce inequality. Over 100 studies across many countries indicate that employee ownership is generally linked to better productivity, pay, job stability, and firm survival—though the effects are dispersed and causation is difficult … Read More
This two day seminar will examine a new form of Inclusive Capitalism founded on a broader distribution of capital acquisition and fuller employment. This two-day virtual event brought together professors of economics and other disciplines from numerous universities to discuss the creation of a teaching and research agenda centered around Inclusive Capitalism.
This booklet provides a “users’ manual” for workers, especially immigrant workers, and their advocates, for organizing a worker-owned cooperative as a worker empowerment strategy.
Policies and practices of the 19th and 20th centuries have had a lasting impact into this century. This is most evident when examining racialized wealth inequality between Black and White families. This study of low-income employee owners examines the following questions: (1) Does employee ownership reduce the racial wealth gap? (2) How does employee ownership … Read More
The concentration of ownership by the very wealthy is supported by a financial system that enables them to acquire income-producing capital basically on credit whereas no such financing strategy is available to the mass of the population. A solution lies in creating a system whereby every individual has the right and opportunity to acquire income-producing … Read More
Worker cooperative practitioners and developers often claim that democratic worker ownership advances egalitarianism within and beyond the workplace, but most of the empirical evidence in the U.S. is based on ethnographic case studies or small-scale surveys. We leverage the first national survey about individuals’ experiences in these unique firms to ask if claims that co-ops … Read More
The United States business sector is dominated by small businesses that create new jobs at a rate considered faster than that of their larger competitors. Remarkably, military veterans own nearly 13 percent of small businesses. However, only eight percent of all veteran-owned firms are minority owned. The low percentage of minority-owned veteran businesses is perplexing … Read More
This paper examines the impact of an economy-wide shift to broad-based employee ownership on wealth concentration in the United States. Relying on government data, we show that if all private firms became 30% employee-owned, the wealth distribution would be profoundly altered. Those currently in the bottom 90% of the wealth distribution would see substantial gains, … Read More
This mini-case study examines S&C Electric Company, the storied Chicago-based employee-owned company that was founded in 1911. The mini-case study introduces the company’s history and describes how employee ownership preserved the company and its jobs during a key generational transition.
This mini-case study examines employee share ownership at National Van Lines, where an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) provided a family-run business a succession plan that ensured the continuation of the company and protected employee jobs. Just one-third of family businesses successfully transition from the first to the second generation of ownership and only 12% … Read More
This case study examines employee share ownership at Central States Manufacturing, where the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) shares stunning sums of wealth with employees. Central States designs its ESOP to allow participants to access a portion of their ownership wealth while they are still employed at the company, through hardship and service withdrawals. This … Read More
This case study examines employee share ownership at North State Grocery, where the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) solved a transition challenge in a company owned by two siblings. Thanks to the ESOP, long-term employees, including frontline staff such as cashiers and bakery workers, build a larger cushion of retirement savings than is typical in … Read More
This case study examines employee share ownership at Parksite, Inc., where the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) is paired with a strong company culture and high job quality. For the company’s co-founders, the ESOP provided a solution to a major transition challenge. The company’s long-term employees accumulate considerable stock wealth through the ESOP. Discussion questions … Read More
City and state policymakers across ideological divides can help raise standards for workers and boost sustainable economic growth by supporting employee ownership and broad-based profit-sharing.
Laws in many countries mandate paying men and women equally when in similar jobs. Such laws, coupled with considerable organizational efforts, lead some scholars to contend that within-job pay inequality is no longer a source of the gender pay gap. This article argues important differences in a widely used form of pay heretofore overlooked in … Read More
The case for employee ownership is undisputed. As philanthropists and government leaders grapple with how to address both long-entrenched and newly-emerging forms of economic insecurity, there is no better time to look to effective but lesser-known solutions, such as employee ownership. Even before the economic crisis brought on by COVID-19, income and wealth inequality and downward economic mobility for frontline workers were truths so obvious that one could visually observe them in most communities. Now, more than ever, we need solutions that create economic resiliency for workers and local economies.
At the center of the ongoing debate about the causes and cures of inequality in America today is the vast difference in wealth between owners and workers. As many have noted, that gap was not nearly as large in the middle of the twentieth century as it has become in the first two decades of the 21st century, where owners and other executives make many multiples of what workers make – largely through grants of stock in lieu of salary.
Estimated Number of Plans and Employees; Value of Plan Assets.
Purpose This purpose of this paper to examine how profit sharing depends on the underlying profitability of firms. More precisely, motivated by theoretical research on fair wages and unionized labor markets, profit sharing is estimated for six different profitability categories: positive, increasing, positive and increasing, negative, decreasing and negative or decreasing. Design/methodology/approach The paper exploits … Read More
Purpose A growing number of econometric examinations show that works councils substantially shape the personnel policy of firms in Germany. Firms with works councils make greater use of various human resource management (HRM) practices. This gives rise to the question of whether employers view the shaping of personnel policy positively or negatively. Against this background, … Read More
The employee benefits of employee ownership are not fully studied. This case contributes to understanding how employee ownership may reduce gender and racial wealth gaps, build family well-being, and become a model for structuring opportunity for those traditionally left out of the economic mainstream.
There are now over 25 million employees who own stock in their companies through employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), broadly granted stock options, or 401(k) plans with heavy concentrations of employer stock.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the likely impact of AI robotics technology on the labor market through the lens of comparative advantage. Design/methodology/approach The first section reviews the recent success of AI in outperforming humans in cognitive intense activities such as Go, poker and other strategic games, which portends a shift … Read More