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Fine, Ben (2000) 'ESOP's Fable: Golden Egg or Sour Grapes?' In: Toporowski, Jan, (ed.), Political Economy and the New Capitalism: Essays in Honour of Sam Aaronovitch. London: Routledge, pp. 179-193. (Routledge Frontiers of Political Economy)

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This essay, drawing upon a report prepared for the South African trade union movement, assesses the position of ESOPs.1 The first part addresses conceptual issues, while later sections discuss the historical record of ESOPs and examines some of the theoretical literature. Finally, the literature for the more recent empirical evidence is reviewed. Overall, it is found that ESOPs have become a management strategy not only to incorporate workers but also to gain tax, financial and other advantages useful in takeover battles. The last part of the chapter examines the trade union involvement around ESOPs and finds that they have proved an inadequate vehicle for working class advance, even in the most favourable circumstances provided by Swedish social democracy.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > Department of Economics
ISBN: 9780415202213
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2007 13:34

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