Employee Ownership and Wealth Inequality: A Path to Reducing Wealth Concentration

24 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2021 Last revised: 24 Nov 2021

See all articles by Thomas Dudley

Thomas Dudley

Certified Employee-Owned

Ethan Rouen

Harvard Business School

Date Written: September 30, 2021

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of an economy-wide shift to broad-based employee ownership on wealth concentration in the United States. Relying on government data, we show that if all private firms became 30% employee-owned, the wealth distribution would be profoundly altered. Those currently in the bottom 90% of the wealth distribution would see substantial gains, with many of these gains going to traditionally marginalized communities. Only the top 1% of wealth holders would see a significant decrease in their wealth, although the decline would still be only 14% of their net wealth, on average.

Suggested Citation

Dudley, Thomas and Rouen, Ethan, Employee Ownership and Wealth Inequality: A Path to Reducing Wealth Concentration (September 30, 2021). Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 22-021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3942536 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3942536

Thomas Dudley

Certified Employee-Owned ( email )

Ethan Rouen (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
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617-495-6275 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ethanrouen.com

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