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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0014292113000172
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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
DOI: 10.1016/j.euroecorev.2013.02.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

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  1. Lars Vilhuber, 2009. "Adjusting Imperfect Data: Overview and Case Studies," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 59-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Ronde, Thomas, 2001. "Foreign direct investment and spillovers through workers' mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 205-222, February.
  3. Heyman, Fredrik & Sjoholm, Fredrik & Tingvall, Patrik Gustavsson, 2007. "Is there really a foreign ownership wage premium? Evidence from matched employer-employee data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 355-376, November.
  4. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
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  6. Girma, Sourafel & Gorg, Holger, 2007. "Evaluating the foreign ownership wage premium using a difference-in-differences matching approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 97-112, May.
  7. Sjoholm, Fredrik & Lipsey, Robert E, 2006. "Foreign Firms and Indonesian Manufacturing Wages: An Analysis with Panel Data," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 55(1), pages 201-221, October.
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  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Hijzen, Alexander & Martins, Pedro S. & Schank, Thorsten & Upward, Richard, 2013. "Foreign-owned firms around the world: A comparative analysis of wages and employment at the micro-level," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 170-188.
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  19. 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.
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