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The economics of Participation and Employee Ownership (PEO): an assessment

Derek C. Jones (Hamilton College, Clinton, New York, USA)

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership

ISSN: 2514-7641

Article publication date: 17 July 2018

Issue publication date: 7 August 2018




The purpose of this paper is to discuss diverse matters concerning the field of Participation and Employee Ownership (PEO) coinciding with the launch of the JPEO.


This paper used mixed methods including bibliometric analysis.


Significant gaps exist in our knowledge of the scope and nature of PEO. Citation counts illustrate both the changing composition of research within PEO and faster relative growth than terms used to describe related fields such as labor unions and trade unions. Based on manually collected citation data I identify the most highly cited studies within PEO. Few of these studies attain a “home-run” citation count. However, PEO scholars are cited 19 percent more than economists in top 30 schools and the median C5 (total citations for the author’s five most highly cited papers) is more than 260 percent of the median for economists in “top 30” institutions. There is also some weak evidence that the citation bias in economics against female scholars is not as marked in PEO as elsewhere. A qualitative assessment of PEO studies suggests markedly uneven progress in empirical work across types of PEO.


No similar review has been done before.



The author thanks Douglas Kruse, Andrew Pendleton, Jeffrey Pliskin, participants at the Kelso Workshop, Rutgers, January 2018 and the IAFEP Conference Copenhagen, June 2016 and an Editor for helpful suggestions. Neema Lema, Lynn Mayo, Teddy McKenna and Haoxiang Yang provided valuable research assistance. The paper was completed while the author held a COFUND Senior International Research Fellowship at Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study and a visitor at Durham University Business School for which the author is grateful.


Jones, D.C. (2018), "The economics of Participation and Employee Ownership (PEO): an assessment", Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 4-37.



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