EconStor >
ifo Institut – Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung an der Universität München >
CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item:

http://hdl.handle.net/10419/26231
  
Title:Rhineland exit? PDF Logo
Authors:Bovenberg, Lans
Teulings, Coen N.
Issue Date:2008
Series/Report no.:CESifo working paper 2186
Abstract:We argue in favor of the shareholder model of the firm for three main reasons. First, serving multiple stakeholders leads to ill-defined property rights. What sounds like a fair compromise between stakeholders can easily evolve in a permanent struggle about the ultimate goal of the company. Second, giving workers a claim on the surplus of the firm raises the cost of capital for investments in jobs. Third, making shareholders the ultimate owner of the firm provides the best possible diversification of firm-specific risks. Diversification of firm-specific risk on capital markets is an efficient form of social insurance. Hence, firms should bear the full cost of specific investment, while workers should be paid only their outside option. Empirical results for Denmark, Portugal and the United States show that Denmark is closest to the first-best outcome, while Portugal and the United States deviate in different ways. Coordination in wage bargaining and collective norms help reduce the claim of workers on the firm’s surplus. Collective action, however, is a mixed blessing because politicians also face the temptation to please incumbent workers with short-run gains at the expense of exposing workers to firm-specific risks and reducing job creation. The transition from the Rhineland towards the shareholder model is fraught with difficulties. While society reaps long-run gains in efficiency, in the short run a generation of insiders has to give up their rights.
Subjects:wage setting
optimal risk sharing
employment protection
corporate governance
JEL:E24
G32
G34
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:CESifo Working Papers, CESifo Group Munich

Files in This Item:
File Description SizeFormat
558335012.PDF163.6 kBAdobe PDF
No. of Downloads: Counter Stats
Download bibliographical data as: BibTeX
Share on:http://hdl.handle.net/10419/26231

Items in EconStor are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.