It has been argued that employee owned firms are not a viable organizational form; either they will fail as commercial undertaking or degenerate into capitalist firms as the proportion of hired workers increases. In this paper, we assemble ''stylized facts'' on, and investigate empirically diverse hypotheses of, survivability and degeneration. Using data for French employee owned firms as we find no evidence for degeneration in the key variables, productivity, profitability or capital-intensity. However, the financial structure of these firms does become increasingly inefficient with age
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