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The Relative Importance of Employer and Employee Effects on Compensation: A Comparison of France and the United States

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  • Abowd, John M.
  • Kramarz, Francis
  • Margolis, David N.
  • Troske, Kenneth R.

Abstract

Using individual data on compensation, matched with establishment and firm data on performance and inputs, e compare the French and American pay systems. The compensation measures are decomposed into components related to measured individual characteristics, establishment–enterprise effects, and a residual. In France, the compensation outcomes are more compressed than in the United States. For France, individual characteristics and establishment effects explain more of the variability in compensation outcomes than in the United States. The observable and unobservable components of compensation are identically correlated in the two countries. The relations among compensation components (individual and establishment) and firm performance outcomes (value-added per worker, sales per worker, and profit per unit of capital) exhibit some important similarities and differences between the countries. Higher paid workers, either because of individual characteristics or establishment effects, are employed in firms that are more productive. Higher pay due to enterprise heterogeneity is associated with higher profitability in France but lower profitability in the United States.
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Suggested Citation

  • Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis & Margolis, David N. & Troske, Kenneth R., 2001. "The Relative Importance of Employer and Employee Effects on Compensation: A Comparison of France and the United States," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 419-436, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jjieco:v:15:y:2001:i:4:p:419-436
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 2003. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 887-922, October.
    2. Kenneth R. Troske, 1998. "The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," NBER Chapters,in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 371-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
    4. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    5. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. Harold Hotelling, 1932. "Edgeworth's Taxation Paradox and the Nature of Demand and Supply Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 577-577.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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