Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? The Swiss Case
AbstractWhether or not seniority has a substantial effect on wages has been the subject of much controversy in the past decade, mainly in the U.S. Several economists have noted that unobserved heterogeneity across individuals and across job matches may produce inconsistent OLS-estimates of the effect of tenure on wages and turnover. Hence, labor economists have put forward two empirical strategies to deal with unobserved heterogeneity: Altonji and Shakotko (1987) use an instrumental variable for tenure, which is uncorrelated with the individual and job-specific component of the error term, but highly correlated with job tenure, whereas Topel’s (1991) basic idea is that within-job wage growth combines the returns to general and job-specific experience. These two empirical strategies revealed different returns to seniority and experience for the U.S. labor market. Our goal is, on one hand, to use the different methodologies for the Swiss labor market and, on the other hand, to evaluate the sources of these differences. Thus, we replicate these methods with Swiss data (Swiss Labor Force Survey, SLFS). In a first step, we estimate returns to tenure and experience with the standard regression method, OLS. Subsequently, we apply the Topel and the Altonji/Shakotko estimator, and use different specifications for each. We find that (i) Topel’s approach delivers similar returns to tenure to OLS, i.e. about 8% within ten years of job seniority, while the Altonji/Shakotko method delivers substantially lower returns (4%). (ii) Returns to tenure are minor in Switzerland compared to the U.S.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich in its series CEPE Working paper series with number 01-07.
Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2001
Date of revision:
human capital; returns to experience; returns to tenure;
Other versions of this item:
- J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Robert H. Topel, 1990.
"Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority,"
NBER Working Papers
3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
- Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2001.
"Wages, experience and seniority,"
IFS Working Papers
W01/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1987.
"Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings,"
NBER Working Papers
1819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984.
"Errors in Variables in Panel Data,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990.
"Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?,"
653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Angrist, Joshua D & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014, November.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan Manning, 1998. "Mighty Good Thing: The Returns to Tenure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0383, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997.
"Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins,"
NBER Working Papers
6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, And Ability: Evidence From A New Sample Of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284, February.
- Williams, Nicolas, 1991. "Reexamining the Wage, Tenure and Experience Relationship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 512-17, August.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 1997.
"Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? A Reassessment,"
NBER Working Papers
6010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
- Florian Zainhofer, 2007. "Life Cycle Portfolio Choice: A Swiss Perspective," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(II), pages 187-238, June.
- Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2009.
"The East German wage structure after transition,"
The Economics of Transition,
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 17(4), pages 629-659, October.
- Orlowski, Robert & Riphahn, Regina T., 2008. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," IZA Discussion Papers 3861, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2008. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," CESifo Working Paper Series 2511, CESifo Group Munich.
- Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2009. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," Working Papers 073, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
- Robert Orlowski & Regina T. Riphahn, 2008. "The East German Wage Structure after Transition," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 148, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
- Marco Semadeni, 2003. "Energy storage as an essential part of sustainable energy systems," CEPE Working paper series 03-24, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
- Roland Amann, 2004. "Self-Selection and Wage-Tenure Profiles for Heterogeneous Labor," Working Papers of the Research Group Heterogenous Labor 04-16, Research Group Heterogeneous Labor, University of Konstanz/ZEW Mannheim.
- Silvia Banfi & Massimo Filippini & Andrea Horehájová, 2007. "Hedonic Price Functions for Zurich and Lugano with Special Focus on Electrosmog," CEPE Working paper series 07-57, CEPE Center for Energy Policy and Economics, ETH Zurich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Carlos Ordas).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.