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Firm-Level Contracting and the Structure of Wages in Spain

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  • David Card
  • Sara De La Rica

Abstract

In many European countries, sectoral bargaining agreements are automatically extended to cover all firms in an industry. Employers and employees can also negotiate firm-specific contracts. The authors of this paper use a large matched employer-employee data set from a 1995 survey in Spain to study the effects of firm-level contracting on the structure of wages. They estimate a series of wage determination models, including specifications that control for individual characteristics, coworker characteristics, the bargaining status of the workplace, and the probability that the workplace was covered by a firm-level contract. They find that firm-level contracting was associated with a 5–10% wage premium, with larger premiums for more highly paid workers. Although they cannot decisively test between alternative explanations for the firm-level contracting premium, they find that workers with firm-specific contracts had substantially longer job tenure than other workers, suggesting that the premium was at least partially a non-competitive phenomenon.

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Sara De La Rica, 2006. "Firm-Level Contracting and the Structure of Wages in Spain," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 59(4), pages 573-592, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:59:y:2006:i:4:p:573-592
    DOI: 10.1177/001979390605900403
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    References listed on IDEAS

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