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Wage differentials in the presence of unobserved worker, firm, and match heterogeneity

  • Woodcock, Simon D.

We consider the problem of estimating and decomposing wage differentials in the presence of unobserved worker, firm, and match heterogeneity. Controlling for these unobservables corrects omitted variable bias in previous studies. It also allows us to measure the contribution of unmeasured characteristics of workers, firms, and worker-firm matches to observed wage differentials. An application to linked employer-employee data shows that decompositions of inter-industry earnings differentials and the male-female differential are misleading when unobserved heterogeneity is ignored.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Labour Economics.

Volume (Year): 15 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (August)
Pages: 771-793

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Handle: RePEc:eee:labeco:v:15:y:2008:i:4:p:771-793
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/labeco

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  1. Simon D. Woodcock, 2005. "Heterogeneity and Learning in Labor Markets," Labor and Demography 0511012, EconWPA.
  2. Francine D. Blau & Lawrence M. Kahn, 2001. "Understanding International Differences in the Gender Pay Gap," NBER Working Papers 8200, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mitchel Y. Abolafia (ed.), 2005. "Markets," Books, Edward Elgar, number 2788.
  4. Joseph G. Altonji & Rebecca M. Blank, . "Race and Gender in the Labor Market," IPR working papers 98-18, Institute for Policy Resarch at Northwestern University.
  5. Woodcock, Simon, 2006. "Match Effects," MPRA Paper 154, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "Econometric analyses of linked employer-employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 53-74, March.
  7. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," NBER Working Papers 4917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 1999. "Persistence of Interindustry Wage Differentials: A Reexamination Using Matched Worker-Firm Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 492-533, July.
  9. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  10. John M. Abowd & Bryce E. Stephens & Lars Vilhuber & Fredrik Andersson & Kevin L. McKinney & Marc Roemer & Simon Woodcock, 2009. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," NBER Chapters, in: Producer Dynamics: New Evidence from Micro Data, pages 149-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Groshen, Erica L, 1991. "Sources of Intra-industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-84, August.
  12. John Abowd & Francis Kramarz & Paul Lengermann & Kevin McKinney & Sébastien Roux, 2012. "Persistent inter‐industry wage differences: rent sharing and opportunity costs," IZA Journal of Labor Economics, Springer, vol. 1(1), pages 1-25, December.
  13. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  14. 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.
  15. Oaxaca, Ronald, 1973. "Male-Female Wage Differentials in Urban Labor Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 693-709, October.
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