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The importance of worker, firm and match effects in the formation of wages

  • Torben Sørensen

    ()

  • Rune Vejlin

    ()

This paper estimates a Mincerian wage equation with worker, firm, and match specific effects and thereby complements the growing empirical literature started by the seminal paper of Abowd (Econometrica 67:251–333, 1999b ). The analysis takes advantage of the extensive Danish IDA data which provides wage information on the entire working population in a 27-year period. We find that the major part of wage dispersion in the Danish labor market can be explained by differences in worker characteristics. However, the relative contributions of the three components vary across subgroups of workers. The match effect constitutes a non-negligible part of the overall wage dispersion. An analysis of inter-industry wage differentials shows that firm characteristics are more important at the industry level than at the worker level. Similarly, we find evidence that high-wage workers tend to sort into high-wage industries to a larger extent than they sort into high-wage firms within industries. The mobility pattern of workers is related to the quality of the firm and the match. Finally, we find that firms’ wage policies differ across subgroups. Copyright Springer-Verlag 2013

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s00181-012-0603-3
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Empirical Economics.

Volume (Year): 45 (2013)
Issue (Month): 1 (August)
Pages: 435-464

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Handle: RePEc:spr:empeco:v:45:y:2013:i:1:p:435-464
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  1. Simon D. Woodcock, 2007. "Match Effects," Discussion Papers dp07-13, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
  2. Abowd, J.M. & Kramarz, F. & Margolis, D.N., 1995. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," Cahiers de recherche 9503, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  3. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
  4. Bowlus, Audra J, 1995. "Matching Workers and Jobs: Cyclical Fluctuations in Match Quality," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(2), pages 335-50, April.
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  6. Christopher Taber & Rune Vejlin, 2012. "Estimation of a Roy/Search/Compensating Differential Model of the Labor Market," 2012 Meeting Papers 566, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Woodcock, Simon D., 2008. "Wage differentials in the presence of unobserved worker, firm, and match heterogeneity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 771-793, August.
  8. Mortensen, Dale T & Pissarides, Christopher A, 1994. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in the Theory of Unemployment," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 397-415, July.
  9. Dale T. Mortensen & Bent Jesper Christensen & Jesper Bagger, 2010. "Wage and Productivity Dispersion: Labor Quality or Rent Sharing?," 2010 Meeting Papers 758, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jan Eeckhout & Philipp Kircher, 2011. "Identifying sorting: in theory," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 29708, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Simon D. Woodcock, 2005. "Heterogeneity and Learning in Labor Markets," Labor and Demography 0511012, EconWPA.
  13. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  14. Giuseppe Moscarini, 2005. "Job Matching and the Wage Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(2), pages 481-516, 03.
  15. 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.
  16. Topel, Robert H & Ward, Michael P, 1992. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 439-79, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-90, October.
  19. Jesper Bagger & François Fontaine & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2011. "Tenure, Experience, Human Capital and Wages: A Tractable Equilibrium Search Model of Wage Dynamics," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/eu4vqp9ompq, Sciences Po.
  20. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 515-35, July.
  21. Rasmus Lentz & Jesper Bagger, 2009. "An Empirical Model of Wage Dispersion with Sorting," 2009 Meeting Papers 964, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. Jacob A. Mincer, 1974. "Schooling, Experience, and Earnings," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number minc74-1, December.
  23. M. J. Andrews & L. Gill & T. Schank & R. Upward, 2008. "High wage workers and low wage firms: negative assortative matching or limited mobility bias?," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 171(3), pages 673-697.
  24. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 1992. "The Effects of Labor Market Experience, Job Seniority, and Job Mobility on Wage Growth," NBER Working Papers 4133, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
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