The economics of labour managed firms

Bennett, Joan (1984) The economics of labour managed firms. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis argues that Western theories of labour-management,
which are predominantly neoclassical, do not capture the major
economic forces operating at both firm and macro levels. Consequently
the conclusions derived from the theory are often incorrect and
also lead to erroneous policy prescriptions, both for the cooperative
working within capitalism, and for the labour-managed economy.
The thesis opens with a summary of neoclassical theories of the
labour-managed firm, and theories of cooperative failure. The validity
of these theories are tested using evidence drawn from the C.P.F.
cooperatives and a sample of similar capitalist firms over the period
1950-79. The evidence lends very little support to the theories.
The following chapters describe the actual experience of the
cooperatives and capitalist firms over the thirty years, and concludes
that the major differences between the C.P.F. cooperatives and capitalist
firms are missing from neoclassical models.
The final section of the thesis considers macro economic
theories of the Labour=managed economy. It is argued that the failure
of neoclassical analysists to present convincing macro economic
theories of labour management is because of the rift between conventional
micro and macro economics. The introduction of labour management is
a change at the firm level, i.e. micro economic level which, using
conventional economic theory, cannot be traced through to the macro
economic level.
As an alternative, Sraffa's analysis of a capitalist economy
is adapted to labour management. This allows an analysis of how changes at the firm level effect macro economic conditions.
The results derived from the application of a Neo-Ricardian
model are found to be very different from those produced by neoclassical
analysis. In the final chapter it is noted that existing
empirical studies of Yugoslavia which claim to provide evidence
of the behaviour predicted by neoclassical models do not provide
conclusive evidence.
The conclusion contrasts the policy prescriptions derived from
neoclassical analysis of labour management, with recommendations
derived from the alternative analysis presented in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Hunter, Professor L.A.
Date of Award: 1984
Depositing User: Ms Mary Anne Meyering
Unique ID: glathesis:1984-5023
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 10:20
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 10:21

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