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Foreign-owned firms around the world: A comparative analysis of wages and employment at the micro-level

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

This paper provides the first microeconomic cross-country analysis of the effects of foreign ownership on wages, employment and worker turnover rates. Using firm-level and linked worker-firm data, we apply a standardised methodology for three developed (Germany, Portugal, UK) and two emerging economies (Brazil, Indonesia). We find that wage effects are larger in developing countries, and that for each country the largest effect on wages comes from workers who move from domestic to foreign firms. Employment growth after foreign takeover is concentrated in high-skill jobs. In contrast to widespread fears, there is no evidence that wage gains come at the expense of greater job insecurity; separation rates actually fall slightly after takeover. We conclude that the positive effect of foreign ownership on wages is not primarily driven by its impact on incumbent wages, but by its impact on the creation of high-wage jobs.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 170-188

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:60:y:2013:i:c:p:170-188
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Malchow-Møller, Nikolaj & Markusen, James R. & Schjerning, Bertel, 2007. "Foreign Firms, Domestic Wages," CEPR Discussion Papers 6292, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Heyman, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik & Sjöholm, Fredrik, 2006. "Is There Really a Foreign Ownership Wage Premium? Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series 674, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Francesca Fabbri & Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Does Nationality Of Ownership Matter For Labor Demands?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 698-707, 04/05.
  4. Lipsey, Robert E. & Sjoholm, Fredrik, 2004. "Foreign direct investment, education and wages in Indonesian manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 415-422, February.
  5. Pedro S. Martins, 2004. "Do Foreign Firms Really Pay Higher Wages? : Evidence from Different Estimators," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0409, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
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  8. Alexander Hijzen & Pedro S. Martins & Thorsten Schank & Richard Upward, . "Do foreign-owned firms provide better working conditions than their domestic counterparts? A comparative analysis," Discussion Papers 10/21, University of Nottingham, GEP.
  9. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. " Multinational Firms and Technology Transfer," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 495-513, December.
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  11. G–rg, Holger & Eric Strobl, 2002. ""Footloose" Multinationals?," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 89, Royal Economic Society.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Rita Almeida, 2004. "The labor market effects of foreign-owned firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3300, The World Bank.
  15. 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.
  16. Dirk Willem te Velde, 2003. "Do Workers in Africa Get a Wage Premium if Employed in Firms Owned by Foreigners?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(1), pages 41-73, March.
  17. Lipsey, Robert E. & Sjöholm, Fredrik, 2002. "Foreign Firms and Indonesian Manufacturing Wages: An Analysis with Panel Data," EIJS Working Paper Series 166, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  18. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  19. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2006. "Evaluating the Foreign Ownership Wage Premium Using a Difference-in-Differences Matching Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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