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Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? The Swiss Case

  • Cornelia Luchsinger
  • Rafael Lalive
  • Jörg Wild

Whether or not seniority has a substantial effect on wages has been the subject of much controversy. ALTONJI and SHAKOTKO (1987) and TOPEL (1991) have put forward different empirical strategies to deal with unobserved heterogeneity. Their methods yield different results for the U.S. labor market. Different methods in controlling economy wide time trends are being identified as one of the main reasons for this finding. In this paper, we apply these methods on Swiss data. We find that returns to tenure are lower than in the U.S., and that differences between the two methodological approaches are minor with our data sample. The wage stagnation during the observation period rules out the possibility of different detrending methods as being the main reason for differences in the estimators.

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Article provided by Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES) in its journal Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 139 (2003)
Issue (Month): II (June)
Pages: 207-229

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Handle: RePEc:ses:arsjes:2003-ii-4
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  1. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
  2. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," NBER Working Papers 6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Murphy, Kevin M & Welch, Finis, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326, February.
  4. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-76, February.
  5. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 1997. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? A Reassessment," NBER Working Papers 6010, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  7. Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-97, June.
  8. Williams, Nicolas, 1991. "Reexamining the Wage, Tenure and Experience Relationship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 512-17, August.
  9. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
  10. Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
  11. Alan Manning, 1998. "Mighty Good Thing: The Returns to Tenure," CEP Discussion Papers dp0383, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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