What Do Americans Want From (Private) Government?

"Much of the American labor force spends time in "private governments" over which they have little say during and beyond the work day. Do Americans prefer to work for businesses that look more like democracies or autocracies? We study this question using conjoint experimental techniques on a nationally representative sample of Americans. This design allows us to vary a large number of features of the workplace--especially their governance structures and the degree to which these structures allow for meaningful democratic decision-making. We hypothesize that workers should have a preference for democratic corporate governance structures such as employee ownership, co-determination, and the direct election of management. We find strong support that Americans have a preference for workplace democratization and that the magnitude is economically significant. Overall, this article marshals new data and analyses to better understand public preferences over "corporate regime type."


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