Enquiring Into Possible Causes for the Scarcity of Worker Co-ops in the US


Last year, the Community and Worker Ownership Project and John Mollenkopf at the Center for Urban Research at the CUNY Graduate Center were pleased to host Professor Sofia Arana Landin for research on cooperative economics in New York City. Her work was extensive in building foundational thought for a comparative study of cooperative enterprises’ success and challenges in the US as compared to other countries, especially in the European Union.

Professor Arana teaches taxation law and cooperatives at the public university in San Sebastian, Spain. Arriving to the states shortly after the inauguration of the 45th president for this research, the juxtaposition of opportunities and constraints was almost too much to bear. Nevertheless, she persisted.

Cooperative businesses, being a hybrid of “for profit” and “social” purposes, have a mission broader than that of a traditional business. She identifies how rules, regulation and policies can support the advance of this model to serve the health of a business, the betterment of its employees, and the well being of communities, all towards the development of a “Social Economy.” The resilience of cooperative businesses is a feature that makes them a strategic building block in these hard economic times and particularly for those from disenfranchised communities.

Read the rest at the Murphy Institute Blog


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