Resource Library

The Democracy at Work Institute is building a comprehensive Resource Library that will include a wide range of materials, including academic papers, start-up toolkits, curriculum samples, actual documents from existing worker cooperatives, and more. The topic list below provides a map of the resources that will be available. We are also continuing to publish additional resources on a daily basis.

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Recently Added Resources

Employee-Ownership Briefing Paper 7.2

Ownership Associates, Inc.
One key rationale for the creation of ESOP law in 1974 was to share wealth with the workers who helped create wealth. Today, many companies use the wealth sharing aspect of their ESOPs as an effective retention and recruitment tool. But just how effective a means of distributing wealth are ESOPs? Two studies, one conducted in Washington State and one in Massachusetts, have looked at the wealth consequences of ESOPs.

United States Federation of Worker Co-operatives

Aaron Dawson, Ann Favreau and Sandra Gorman
We will be using the US Federation of Worker Co-operatives (USFWC) as the example to examine the larger question of “authority versus liberty”; of which authority can be defined as a federation where co-operatives are members of a larger organization and therefore limiting individuals control over certain aspects and decisions; and of which liberty can be defined as the autonomy of individual co-operatives and their members to control their fate.

Local Development in Emilia-Romagna: Alternatives in Action

Matt Hancock
Immediately following World War II, Emilia-Romagna was one of the last regions in Italy in terms of standard of living. Today, Emilia-Romagna is one of the top 20 most prosperous regions in Europe. Emilia- Romagna has the highest per capita income in Italy and the most equitable distribution of wealth: wages are high, and the difference between rich and poor is lower than anywhere else on the peninsula.

The Relative Survival of Worker Cooperatives and Barriers to Their Creation

Erik Olsen
This paper argues the conjecture that worker cooperatives (WCs) are rare because of competitive disadvantages relative to conventionally-owned firms (CFs) is not supported by existing research. It surveys research on the survival and failure of WCs and CFs and estimates the nonparametric hazard and survival functions for CFs in the US. Because the rarity of WCs cannot be attributed to performance it must result from a low formation rate.