For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

"The Distribution of Wealth and the Viability of the Democratic Firm"

by Gintis, Herbert; Bowles, Samuel (1996)


By a democratic firm we mean an enterprise whose management and administrative structure are chosen by the firm’s labour force using a democratic political process. A capitalist firm, by contrast, is one whose management and administrative structure is determined by owners of the firm’s capital assets, who are distinct from the firm’s labour force. In this paper we show that under plausible conditions, where both types of firms are possible, and where workers allocate themselves among firms to maximize a standard measure of well-being, the equilibrium fraction of workers in democratic firms and the distribution of wealth are mutually determining.


Democratic Firm, Firms, Capitalist Firm, Economic Democracy, Democracy, Politics, Economics


Equality and Work

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