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Flexible pay, firm performance and the role of unions. New evidence from Italy

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  • Origo, Federica

Abstract

This paper focuses on the effects of a shift in the firm pay strategy from a fixed wage to a flexible pay scheme on the performance of the "treated" firms. Theory predicts that the introduction of performance-related pay (PRP) may produce both incentive and sorting effects, making the incumbent workers more productive and attracting the most able workers from outside. Furthermore, productivity gains may be shared with the workers through higher wages and heterogeneous effects may be expected by union density. Matching estimates based on panel data for a representative sample of Italian metalworking firms in the 1990s show positive effects on labour productivity (around 7-11%) and to some extent on wages (around 2-3%), while worker sorting is negligible. Estimates by union density suggest that incentive effects are more present in low unionized firms, while wage effects are more significant in highly unionized ones. Extended sensitivity analysis shows that these results are overall robust with respect to the existence of unobserved confounding factors.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 16 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 64-78

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:16:y:2009:i:1:p:64-78

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

Related research

Keywords: Performance-related-pay Firm performance Unions Matching estimators ATT;

References

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  16. Andrea Brandolini & Piero Casadio & Piero Cipollone & Marco Magnani & Alfonso Rosolia, 2007. "Employment Growth in Italy in the 1990s: Institutional Arrangements and Market Forces," AIEL Series in Labour Economics, in: Nicola Acocella & Riccardo Leoni (ed.), Social Pacts, Employment and Growth. A Reappraisal of Ezio Tarantelli’s Thought, edition 1, chapter 4, pages 31-68 AIEL - Associazione Italiana Economisti del Lavoro.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lucifora, Claudio & Origo, Federica, 2012. "Performance Related Pay and Firm Productivity: New Evidence from a Quasi-Natural Experiment in Italy," IZA Discussion Papers 6483, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Mirella Damiani & Fabrizio Pompei & Andrea Ricci, 2013. "Wages and Labour Productivity: the role of performance-related pay in Italian firms," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 124/2013, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  3. Casadio Piero, 2010. "Firm level wage bargaining and territorial wage differentials: evidence from the Bank of Italy survey on firms," Politica economica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 2, pages 241-292.
  4. Damiani, Mirella & Pompei, Fabrizio & Ricci, Andrea, 2014. "Performance related pay, productivity and wages in Italy: a quantile regression approach," MPRA Paper 53341, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Mirella Damiani & Andrea Ricci, 2012. "The role of education of entrepreneurs on adoption of different contingent pay schemes: evidence from Italian firms," Quaderni del Dipartimento di Economia, Finanza e Statistica 116/2013, Università di Perugia, Dipartimento Economia, Finanza e Statistica.
  6. Damiani, Mirella & Ricci, Andrea, 2013. "Entrepreneurs’ education and different variable pay schemes in Italian firms," MPRA Paper 46163, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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