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When Labor Has a Voice in Corporate Governance

  • Olubunmi Faleye (a1), Vikas Mehrotra (a2) and Randall Morck (a3)

Abstract

Equity ownership gives labor both a fractional stake in a firm's residual cash flows and a voice in corporate governance. Relative to other firms, labor-controlled publicly traded firms deviate more from value maximization, invest less in long-term assets, take fewer risks, grow more slowly, create fewer new jobs, and exhibit lower labor and total factor productivity. Therefore, we propose that labor uses its corporate governance voice to maximize the combined value of its contractual and residual claims, and that this often pushes corporate policies away from, rather than toward, shareholder value maximization.

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