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Do foreign-owned firms provide better working conditions than their domestic counterparts? A comparative analysis

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  • Alexander Hijzen
  • Pedro S. Martins
  • Thorsten Schank
  • Richard Upward

Abstract

This paper analyses to what extent working conditions in foreign-owned firms differ from those in their domestic counterparts. It makes three main contributions. First, we replicate the consensus in the empirical literature by applying a standardised methodology to firm-level data for three developed (Germany, Portugal, UK) and two emerging economies (Brazil, Indonesia). We show that, consistent with previous evidence, foreign-owned firms offer substantially higher average wages than domestic firms and that this difference is particularly important in emerging economies. Second, we show that these positive wage effects of foreign takeovers reduce in size when controlling for changes in the composition of the workforce, although they tend to remain positive and statistically significant. However, the wage effects associated with worker movements from domestic to foreign firms are potentially important, particularly in emerging economies. Third, we look not only at wage outcomes but also consider other working conditions such as working hours, job stability and union coverage. We find that foreign takeovers of domestic firms tend to have a small positive effect on wages, but little effect on other aspects of working conditions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 10/21.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:10/21

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Keywords: Foreign direct investment; foreign wage premia;

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References

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  1. Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & James R. Markusen & Bertel Schjerning, 2013. "Foreign Firms, Domestic Wages," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 115(2), pages 292-325, 04.
  2. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Daniele Checchi & Alessandro Turrini, 2002. "Adjusting Labour Demand: Multinationals vs. National Firms: A Cross-European Analysis," Development Working Papers 168, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
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Cited by:
  1. John P. Weche Geluebcke, 2011. "Foreign Ownership and Firm Performance in German Services: First Evidence based on Official Statistics," Working Paper Series in Economics 213, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  2. Martyn Andrews & Lutz Bellmann & Thorsten Schank & Richard Upward, 2012. "Foreign-owned plants and job security," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 89-117, April.

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