IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Should Workers Care about Firm Size?

Listed author(s):
  • Ana Ferrer
  • Stéphanie Lluis

The authors analyze how firms of different sizes reward measured skills and unmeasured ability. The empirical methodology, based on nonlinear instrumental variable estimation, permits direct estimation of the returns to unmeasured ability by firm size. An analysis of panel data from the Canadian Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics for two periods, 1993–1998 and 1996–2001, reveals statistically significant differences between firms of different sizes. In particular, returns to unmeasured ability are higher in medium-sized firms than in either small firms or large firms. The authors find that the firm-size wage gap and the differential in returns to unmeasured ability between small and medium-sized firms is mainly explained by ability sorting. The fact that larger firms reward ability less than medium-sized firms is consistent with an explanation based on monitoring costs. When firms become “too large,†monitoring costs may prevent them from rewarding ability directly through wages.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://ilr.sagepub.com/content/62/1/104.abstract
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Cornell University, ILR School in its journal Industrial & Labor Relations Review.

Volume (Year): 62 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (October)
Pages: 104-125

as
in new window

Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:62:y:2008:i:1:p:104-125
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.ilr.cornell.edu

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Rene Morissette, 1993. "Canadian Jobs and Firm Size: Do Smaller Firms Pay Less?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(1), pages 159-174, February.
  2. Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Evidence On The Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 15-26, February.
  3. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
  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 Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2005. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 681-724, October.
  6. Stephanie Lluis, 2005. "The Role of Comparative Advantage and Learning in Wage Dynamics and Intrafirm Mobility: Evidence from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 23(4), pages 725-768, October.
  7. Idson, Todd L & Feaster, Daniel J, 1990. "A Selectivity Model of Employer-Size Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 99-122, January.
  8. Jonas Agell, 2003. "Why are Small Firms Different? Managers’ Views," CESifo Working Paper Series 1076, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
  10. A. D. Roy, 1951. "Some Thoughts On The Distribution Of Earnings," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 3(2), pages 135-146.
  11. Jonas Agell, 2004. "Why are Small Firms Different? Managers' Views," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 106(3), pages 437-452, October.
  12. Luojia Hu, 2003. "The Hiring Decisions and Compensation Structures of Large Firms," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 56(4), pages 663-681, July.
  13. Garen, John E, 1985. "Worker Heterogeneity, Job Screening, and Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 715-739, August.
  14. Lemieux, Thomas, 1998. "Estimating the Effects of Unions on Wage Inequality in a Panel Data Model with Comparative Advantage and Nonrandom Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 261-291, April.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:62:y:2008:i:1:p:104-125. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.