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Firm Size, Technical Change And Wages In The Pork Sector, 1990 -2005

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  • Yu, Li
  • Hurley, Terrance M.
  • Kliebenstein, James
  • Orazem, Peter

Abstract

Economists have long puzzled over the fact that large firms pay higher wages than small firms, even after controlling for worker’s observed productive characteristics. One possible explanation has been that firm size is correlated with unobserved productive attributes which confound firm size with other productive characteristics. This study investigates the size-wage premium in the context of firms competing within a single market for a relatively homogeneous product: hogs. We pay particular attention to the matching process by which workers are linked to farms of different size and technology use, and whether the matching process may explain differences in wages across farms. The study relies on four surveys of employees on hog farms collected in 1990, 1995, 2000, and 2005. We find that there are large wage premia paid to workers on larger farms that persist over time. Although more educated and experienced workers are more likely to work on larger and more technologically advanced hog farms, the positive relationships between wages and both farm size and technology adoption remain large and statistically significant even after controlling for differences in observable worker attributes and in the observed sorting process of workers across farms.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Iowa State University, Department of Economics in its series Staff General Research Papers with number 12921.

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Date of creation: 18 Apr 2008
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, August 2012, vol. 37 no. 2, pp. 263-279
Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12921

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Postal: Iowa State University, Dept. of Economics, 260 Heady Hall, Ames, IA 50011-1070
Phone: +1 515.294.6741
Fax: +1 515.294.0221
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Web page: http://www.econ.iastate.edu
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Keywords: pork; technology; Hog Farms; Wages; Propensity Score; Size; Wage Premium;

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References

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  1. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1, octubre-d.
  2. Dehejia, R.H. & Wahba, S., 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-Experimental Causal Studies," Discussion Papers 1998_02, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  4. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  5. Terrance M. HURLEY & James Kliebenstein & Peter F. ORAZEM, 1996. "Structure Of Wages And Benefits In The U.S. Pork Industry," Staff Papers 283, Iowa State University Department of Economics.
  6. Hurley, Terrance M. & Kliebenstein, James & Orazem, Peter, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Benefits in the U.S. Pork Industry," Staff General Research Papers 1475, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Timothy Dunne & Lucia Foster & John Haltiwanger & Kenneth R. Troske, 2004. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion in United States Manufacturing: The Role of Computer Investment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 397-430, April.
  8. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  9. McBride, William D. & Key, Nigel D., 2003. "Economic And Structural Relationships In U.S. Hog Production," Agricultural Economics Reports 33971, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  10. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," NBER Working Papers 2870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  12. Stephanie Lluis, . "Endogenous Choice of Firm Size and the Sturcture of Wages: A Comparison of Canada and the United States," Working Papers 0203, Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus).
  13. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  14. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
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Cited by:
  1. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 2012. "Is Bigger Still Better? The Decline of the Wage Premium at Large Firms," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 1181-1201, April.

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