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Labour Managed vs Private Firms: An Empirical Comparison of Cooperatives and Private Firms in Central Italy

W  Bartlett,  J  Cable,  S  Estrin,  D  Jones,  C  Smith,  January 1991
Paper No' CEPDP0017:
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This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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Abstract:

The paper analyses the difference between the behaviour of private firms and producer cooperatives in a matched sample of the two organisational types from Northern Italy, the region with the largest concentration of cooperatives in the world. It therefore offers for the first time reliable and detailed comparative information on key issues such as investment, productivity, wages, employment and industrial relations. Among the more interesting findings are the absence of significant differences with regard to investment horizons and criteria for finance, despite theoretical assertions to the contrary. However, it would appear that cooperatives substitutes labour effort for capital, and achieve higher productivity and better industrial relations, as well as significantly narrower wage differentials.