Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Efeitos inesperados da co-gestão

Companies Might Be Smarter With Workers in the Boardroom, por Noah Smith (Bloomberg):

Referred to as co-determination, this policy -- which has been proposed in the U.S. by Senator Elizabeth Warren -- is often touted as a way to give workers more power to demand better wages and benefits. But its primary benefit might be improving corporate productivity.

A number of economic studies have found this surprising effect. For example, there’s evidence that the 1976 reform boosted total factor productivity at companies subject to the new law. Worker board representation also probably improved shareholder value -- an ironic outcome for a policy that reduces shareholder control. Economists generally cite greater worker input as the reason for these improvements.

Now, a new paper by economists Simon Jäger, Benjamin Schoefer and Jörg Heining sheds even morelight on the issue. Studying a 1994 German reform that abolished mandatory worker  representation for some new smaller companies but locked it in permanently for older ones, the authors found that the companies that were forced to keep workers on the board ended up investing more in fixed capital (buildings, machines, etc.), and becoming more capital-intensive. This added capital, they concluded, raised value added per worker.

Interestingly, Jäger et al. did not find that co-determination had much effect on wages. They were unable to detect any change in the difference between the compensation of lower-end workers and top management, or in the division of income between shareholders and labor. In other words, they found that the main effect of worker representation was not to redistribute the corporate pie, but simply to expand it.

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