Wages, Employment, and Capital in Capitalist and Worker-Owned Firms
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. Estimates calculated using a matched employer-worker panel data set for the years 1982–94 largely corroborate the implications of orthodox behavioral models of the two types of enterprise. Co-ops had 14% lower wages than capitalist enterprises, on average; more volatile wages; and less volatile employment. Given the quality of the data set analyzed, the authors argue, these results can be regarded as having broad generality.