Productivity, Capital, and Labor in Labor-Managed and Conventional Firms: An Investigation on French Data
Using two new data sets from France, the authors present the first study of the comparative productivity of labor-managed and conventional firms involving large representative samples of firms in a range of industries including services. Their study offers new stylized facts on labor-managed firms, and disentangles incentive effects from those of differences in input demand behavior on factor elasticities. Contrary to received wisdom, labor-managed firms are not smaller than conventional firms; they grow as fast or faster in all industries. The two groups of firms organize production differently. Labor-managed firms are as productive as conventional firms, or more productive, in all industries, and use their inputs efficiently; but in several industries conventional firms would produce more with their current input levels if they organized production like labor-managed firms. On average overall, firms would produce more using the labor-managed firms’ industry-specific technologies. Labor-managed firms do not produce at inefficiently low scales.