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Liam P. Nolan

Liam P. Nolan

Liam was raised his whole life in Smithsburg, Maryland. His father was a canine trainer and his mother was a homemaker. He came to Duke in 2017 with the plan to major in history and biology, but that quickly changed. After graduation, he plans to attend law school and eventually become a labor lawyer.

Honors Thesis:

Expanding Worker Co-operatives in America

Faculty Advisor: Professor Matthew S. Johnson

Abstract: This study begins by introducing the various negative economic trends which have recently been confronting American workers and will make the case that these trends have been caused by the declining bargaining power of American workers. The study will propose that expanding the prevalence of workplace democracy in the economy through the means of expanding and strengthening worker co-operatives will be able to improve the economic condition of American workers by increasing their bargaining power. A survey of relevant labor economics knowledge will be given to support this claim. Empirical evidence about the relative working conditions within a worker co-operative vs. traditional firm will be evaluated in order to determine whether expanding the worker co-operative sector would in fact improve conditions for American workers.. Then, in order to develop policy proposals to strengthen the worker co-operative sectors, a set of problems facing worker co-operatives will be illustrated, and policy solutions will be devised, utilizing evidence from comparative policy literature, historical research, and personal interviews which the author conducted with American worker co-operative representatives. The author conducted interviews by email or phone with representatives of currently active worker co-operatives between January and April 2021 (one interview was conducted before this time period). Then, a conclusion will be given.