Date of Award


Document Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences, Economics

First Advisor

Chiara Piovani

Second Advisor

Frédérique Chevillot

Third Advisor

Markus Schneider

Fourth Advisor

Yeohyub Yoon


Employee ownership, ESOPs, ESPPs, Inequality, Moral hazard, Neoliberalism


Providing incentives to top managers by offering equity has become the norm; this practice, however, does not hold for all levels of employees. After tax incentives for employee ownership were introduced through the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, there has been little legislative support to encourage companies to implement broad-based equity sharing programs. Moreover, decades of neoliberal policies have incentivized the pursuit of short-term profits and speculation, which contribute to economic instability and explain the growing gap between productivity and real wages observed since the late 1970s. Developments in the literature contend that employee ownership aligns the goals of ownership and workers and will embolden employees to work more productively and make decisions in the best interest of the firm. Equity incentives can thus generate a mutually beneficial relationship and will result in higher compensation for all levels of employees. By analyzing theoretical and empirical research on equity incentives, this thesis claims that employee ownership increases productivity, compensation, and job stability, and can help contain economic instability and address high levels inequality.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Colin Clinton Hudson


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

99 pgs


Economics, Business administration, Finance