The scarcity of worker cooperatives in the USA: enquiring into possible causes


Even though the access of workers to capital has been promoted in some countries for over centuries, Governments and public bodies have started to promote it worldwide, as in previous occasions, more particularly as an aftermath of the Great Recession, usually in the form of worker cooperatives.
However, workers’ access to capital in the USA in the form of worker cooperatives is still surprisingly rare. We cannot find any recent public policies at a federal level in order to promote them and the old ones that exist remain mostly obsolete and unknown. Only at a state and local level, we find in the latest years a series of actions directed to achieve this goal, as in the case of New York City, where there is an important budget to promote the access of workers to capital more particularly after 2012 and, among others, worker cooperatives are being formed.
The purpose of this paper is to enquire about the possible causes of the scarce number of worker cooperatives in the USA as the only way of offering solutions comes from understanding the causes.

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