share ownership, job search, quits, sickness absence, effort, gift exchange, incentives

Employee Stock Purchase Plans - Gift or Incentive? Evidence from a Multinational Corporation

Many large listed firms offer workers the opportunity to buy shares in the firm at discounted rates through employee stock purchase plans (ESPP).  The discounted rate creates a gift exchange, where the firm hopes that workers who accept the gift reciprocate with greater loyalty and effort.  But ESPPs diverge from standard gift exchange or efficiency wage models.