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Article
Publication date: 1 January 1996

Walter Block

Freeman criticizes the economics profession on the ground that it has improperly accepted the philosophy of laissez‐faire capitalism in five different realms: economic…

498

Abstract

Freeman criticizes the economics profession on the ground that it has improperly accepted the philosophy of laissez‐faire capitalism in five different realms: economic development, unionism and minimum wage laws, socialist central planning versus decentralized markets, military dictatorships and income inequality, and the benefits of economic progress. Attempts to defend the view that the free enterprise analysis in these five different areas can withstand Freeman’s criticisms.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 1999

Michael R. Smith

Focuses on the approach to interpreting earnings equality found in the writings of a variety of economists and in particular, technological change and its effects on the…

Abstract

Focuses on the approach to interpreting earnings equality found in the writings of a variety of economists and in particular, technological change and its effects on the demand skill resulting in earning inequality. Argues that the evidence in favour of the technological effect is weak and presents some alternatives for further consideration.

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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 19 no. 9/10/11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Abstract

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Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2012

Solomon W. Polachek and Konstantinos Tatsiramos

The first Research in Labor Economics (RLE) volume was published in 1977. Its founding editor, Ronald Ehrenberg, saw the need for high quality substantive research papers…

Abstract

The first Research in Labor Economics (RLE) volume was published in 1977. Its founding editor, Ronald Ehrenberg, saw the need for high quality substantive research papers in the labor/human resource area. Each volume was to contain “original contributions comparable (or exceeding) those found in leading journals.” The articles were of three genres: (1) results from ongoing or completed important research endeavors, (2) critical survey articles, and (3) symposia on policy related topics (RLE, Vol. 1, p. vii). In 1995, Solomon Polachek took over as series editor. Beginning in 2007 RLE affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), an international network of about 1,100 labor economists spanning more than 40 countries. Konstantinos Tatsiramos became the IZA coeditor in 2008 after taking over from Olivier Bargain. Finally in 2011 RLE established an editorial board consisting of Orley C. Ashenfelter, Francine D. Blau, Richard Blundell, David Card, Ronald G. Ehrenberg, Richard B. Freeman, Daniel S. Hamermesh, James J. Heckman, Alan B. Krueger, Edward P. Lazear, Christopher A. Pissarides, and Klaus F. Zimmermann. Two are Nobel Laureates and all are top labor economists.

Details

35th Anniversary Retrospective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-219-6

Article
Publication date: 27 July 2018

Richard B. Freeman

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.

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Abstract

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 in comparative advantage in human brain power work to machines. It notes the potential for a portfolio of specialized computer algorithms to compete with human general intelligence in work. The analysis contributes to the debate between economists dubious about claims that AI robotics will disrupt work and futurists who expect many jobs to be fully automated in coming years. It advances three “laws of robo-economics” to guide thinking about the new technologies and presents evidence that growing robot intensity has begun to impact the job market.

Findings

The paper finds that the case for AI robotics substantially changing the world of work and the distribution of income is more compelling than the case that it will have similar impacts on wages and employment as past technological changes. It advances an ownership solution to spread the benefits of AI robot-driven automation widely.

Originality/value

To the extent that who owns the robots rules the world, it argues for a concerted social effort to widen the “who” in ownership from the few to the many. It reviews policies to expand employee ownership of their own firm and of the stream of revenue via profit-sharing and gain-sharing bonuses. But the paper notes that ensuring that growth of AI robotics benefits all through ownership will require expansion of workers’ and citizens’ stake in business broadly, through collective investment via pension funds, individual investment in mutual funds and development of sovereign wealth funds.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2018

Joseph Blasi, Douglas Kruse and Richard B. Freeman

The purpose of this paper is to review the historical background for broad-based ownership in the USA, the development of forms of employee ownership and profit sharing in…

1504

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the historical background for broad-based ownership in the USA, the development of forms of employee ownership and profit sharing in the USA, the research literature on employee ownership and profit sharing and related employee participation, the development of policy and options for new policies.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a literature review.

Findings

There are four reasons to be interested in employee stock ownership and profit sharing today: first, employee share ownership and profit sharing can increase worker pay and wealth and broaden the overall distribution of income and wealth, a key ingredient for a successful democracy. To be a tool for reducing inequality, employee stock ownership and profit sharing must be spread more widely and meaningfully than it is today. Second, employee share ownership and profit sharing provide incentives for more effort, cooperation, information sharing and innovation that can improve workplace performance and company productivity. Third, employee share ownership and profit sharing can save jobs by enhancing firm survival and employment stability, with wider economic benefits that come from decreasing unemployment. Fourth, employee share ownership and profit sharing can create more harmonious workplaces with greater corporate transparency and increased worker involvement in their work lives through access to information and participation in workplace decisions.

Research limitations/implications

Growth has been extraordinarily sluggish in the recovery from the Great Recession and has weakened in advanced countries over a longer period, leading some analysts to believe that the authors have entered a new economic era of small to modest growth. This may turn out to be true, which will increase the importance of growth-enhancing policies. The evidence that firms with employee stock ownership and/or profit-sharing perform better than others suggests that policies that extend ownership would boost the country’s lagging growth rate. The evidence that employee share ownership firms preserve jobs and survive recessions better than others suggests that policies that extend ownership could help stabilize the economy when the next recession comes down the pike.

Practical implications

Because there may be informational or institutional barriers about the benefits of ownership and sharing and the ways firms can introduce such programs that government can help overcome. Government has often played a role in promoting performance-enhancing work practices to enhance overall economy-wide outcomes from higher productivity and innovation, such as the long history of agricultural extension services (since 1887) to spread information on best practices in farming, and employer education on safety practices conducted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Social implications

Because of the “externalities” – effects that extend beyond the firm and its members – that greater ownership/profit sharing can bring us. If employee ownership and profit sharing lead to fewer layoffs and firm closures, this can reduce recession-created drops in consumer purchasing power and aggregate demand; government expenditures on unemployment compensation and other forms of support; decreased tax base for supporting schools and infrastructure; and potentially harmful social and personal effects, such as marital breakups and alcohol abuse. Apart from unemployment, more broadly shared prosperity and lower inequality may also have wider benefits for macroeconomic growth, stability and societal outcomes, as described by a number of social scientists. To the extent the ownership and profit sharing is a public good, a nudge in policy to consider the idea makes sense.

Originality/value

Because it is hard to find policy options that are as bipartisan as the shares policy. In The Citizens’ Share, and in other articles and venues, the authors lay out the areas in which there is evidence or logic for in-depth development of, and experimentation with, several broad policy directions, with the details to be worked out by members of Congress based on their deliberations.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2005

Richard B. Freeman

The purpose of this paper is to examine innovative union use of the internet in the 2000s and to see whether the major union innovations in the USA and UK mark the advent…

1195

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine innovative union use of the internet in the 2000s and to see whether the major union innovations in the USA and UK mark the advent of “open source” union structures.

Design/methodology/approach

Reviews two important innovations, www.workingamerica.org and www.unionreps.org.uk Examines how they may fit with the open source union design.

Findings

Both the AFL‐CIO and US union efforts to develop open source union forms and the TUC and UK union efforts to improve services to workers and members through the internet mark the advent of the open source union form. The two countries have different approaches to this innovation, which reflect the differing problems faced by unions in the USA and UK. In both countries, unions will have to find the appropriate mix of on‐line and off‐line activities to create stable open source organizations.

Originality/value

No other paper has examined union use of the internet in terms of creating the new open source union form.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 1 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2010

Alex Bryson and Richard B. Freeman

Ownership of shares by employees in their own firm has grown substantially in the advanced world. In the past two decades, it increased in Britain (Pendleton, Whitfield, &

Abstract

Ownership of shares by employees in their own firm has grown substantially in the advanced world. In the past two decades, it increased in Britain (Pendleton, Whitfield, & Bryson, 2009), the United States (Kruse, Freeman, & Blasi, 2010), and in many EU countries (Pendleton, Poutsma, van Ommeren, & Brewster, 2005; European Federation of Employee Share Ownership, 2009). By 2004, one-fifth of British workplaces had share ownership plans covering one-third of private sector employees (Bryson & Freeman, 2010). In the United States in 2006, an estimated 18% of workers had shares in their own firm, some held through collective employee stock ownership plans, some bought through employee stock purchase plans that give employees a discount on shares, and some through their 401k retirement savings Plan money. In addition to owning shares, 9% of US employees had stock options with the firm. Taking account of the overlap, 24% had an ownership stake through shares or options (Kruse, Blasi, & Park, 2010, Table 1).

Details

Advances in the Economic Analysis of Participatory & Labor-Managed Firms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-454-3

Article
Publication date: 1 February 1994

Richard B. Freeman

Looks at the role of the minimum in wage setting and how it differsamong countries and over time. Discusses the differing attributes ofminimum wages and their pluses and minuses.

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Abstract

Looks at the role of the minimum in wage setting and how it differs among countries and over time. Discusses the differing attributes of minimum wages and their pluses and minuses.

Details

International Journal of Manpower, vol. 15 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7720

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Abstract

Details

The Creation and Analysis of Employer-Employee Matched Data
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-44450-256-8

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