Established Worker Cooperatives are Better than Established Traditional Businesses
A worker cooperative is a company operated by it’s employees. I will be arguing that cooperatives are generally better than traditional businesses, you will be arguing the opposite, I hope we both learn something from this debate.
An International study
by Virginie Pérotin came to the conclusion that worker cooperatives were more productive. Stating that cooperatives created better, smarter, and more organized production. This study stretches beyond borders and it most definitely agrees with me, with the facts, on balance, pointing in my direction.
Also, a massive meta analysis of 43 studies
came to the conclusion that worker ownership of a firm increased productivity. Remember, a meta analysis seeks to find a consensus amongst academics, so the people who spend their lives studying the complexities of economics are on my side, not my opponents.
There is a mountain of data that suggests worker cooperatives are more resilient than traditional businesses.
of 3 Canadian provinces came to the conclusion that worker cooperatives had a failure rate which was about half of the failure rate of traditional companies.
In 2005 Germany
, cooperatives had a failure rate which was 10 times lower than the failure rate for traditional companies.
A 2012 study
came to the conclusion that worker cooperatives “have been more resilient than conventional enterprises during the economic crisis.”
in France have a three year survival rate of 66%. However, if we observe the three year survival rate for cooperatives in France it is 80-90%. If we extend this to 5 years, we see cooperatives with a survival rate of 61-82%, while the 5 year survival rate of traditional businesses is just 50%.
I can only side with the data, and the data is on my side.
Benefit 1: WAGES
Worker cooperatives have been proven
to have higher wages than traditional companies for the same or similar occupations. Remember though, the company does not seem to get hit hard by this, they are more resilient and more productive.
Benefit 2: HAPPINESS/SATISFACTION
looked at the impact of worker cooperatives and worker happiness. It came to the conclusion that worker cooperatives had a net positive impact on worker happiness, and again, this happiness does not seem to have a strong negative impact on the company's general performance.
Benefit 3: LAYOFFS
the US general social survey observed layoffs in employee owned firms(worker cooperatives) and non employee owned firms. It found that employee owned firms layed off 1.6% of their workforce, but for non employee owned firms the layoff percentage was 9.6%. These results held up in 2002, 2006, and 2010. Keep in mind these stats took into account tenure, occupation, gender, age, race, and education.
Benefit 4: GENERAL IMPROVEMENTS FOR WORKERS
A study entitled “Employee Ownership is Good for Your Health” came to the conclusion that...
“A study of three towns in Northern Italy showed that the town with the highest percentage of people employed in worker cooperatives had higher indices of social well-being in areas including health, education, crime, and social participation.”
Keep in mind that lower crime and better education have a lot of benefits of their own to take into account. For one, violent crime costs Seattle 305 million dollars
, why not reduce this number by fixing parts of the city with worker cooperatives. Also, better education has an “incredibly positive
” relationship with economic growth.
All I can say is the data is clear. Worker owned companies/worker cooperatives have been proven to generally be better than traditional businesses.