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BPEA | 1995: Microeconomics

Participation and Productiviy: A Comparison of Worker Cooperatives and Conventional Firms in the Plywood Industry

John Pencavel and
JP
John Pencavel Stanford University
Ben Craig
BC
Ben Craig Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland
discussants: Alan B. Krueger and
Alan B. Krueger Bendheim Professor of Economics and Public Affairs - Princeton University
Henry S. Farber
HSF
Henry S. Farber Princeton University

Microeconomics 1995


A PERENNIAL ISSUE in 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 in the recent debate over policies to increase U.S. productivity growth. A large literature is aimed at quantifying the impact of worker participation on productivity though the results from this research fall somewhat short of being fully persuasive. There are several difficulties in this research, not least that worker participation can mean various things in different contexts.