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Why Do Foreign-Owned Firms Pay More? The Role of On-the-Job Training

  • Holger Görg
  • Eric Strobl

    ()

  • Frank Walsh

While foreign-owned firms have consistently been found to pay higher wages than domestic firms to what appear to be equally productive workers, the causes of this remain unresolved. In a two-period bargaining framework we show that if training is more productive and specific in foreign firms, foreign firm workers will have a steeper wage profile and thus acquire a premium over time. Using a rich employer-employee matched data set we verify that the foreign wage premium is only acquired by workers over time spent in the firm and only by those that receive on the job training, thus providing empirical support for a firm specific human capital acquisition explanation.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10290-007-0117-9
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 143 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (October)
Pages: 464-482

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:143:y:2007:i:3:p:464-482
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  1. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Rønde, Thomas, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment and Spillovers through Workers' Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Daron Acemoglu & Jorn-Steffen Pischke, 1999. "The Structure of Wages and Investment in General Training," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(3), pages 539-572, June.
  3. Budd, John W & Konings, Jozef & Slaughter, Matthew, 2002. "International Rent Sharing in Multinational Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3326, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Lipsey, Robert E. & Sjoholm, Fredrik, 2004. "Foreign direct investment, education and wages in Indonesian manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 415-422, February.
  5. Malcomson, James M., 1999. "Individual employment contracts," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 35, pages 2291-2372 Elsevier.
  6. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 2004. "Characteristics of Foreign-Owned Firms in British Manufacturing," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 147-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Keller, Wolfgang, 1996. "Absorptive capacity: On the creation and acquisition of technology in development," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 199-227, April.
  8. Mark E. Doms & J . Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Comparing Wages, Skills, and Productivity between Domestically and Foreign-Owned Manufacturing Establishments in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2006. "Evaluating the Foreign Ownership Wage Premium Using a Difference-in-Differences Matching Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Daron Acemoglu & Joern-Steffen Pischke, 1998. "Beyond Becker: Training in Imperfect Labor Markets," Working papers 98-12, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  11. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
  12. Sutton, John, 1986. "Non-cooperative Bargaining Theory: An Introduction," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(5), pages 709-24, October.
  13. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
  14. Robert E. Lipsey & Fredrik Sjoholm, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment and Wages in Indonesian Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 8299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Steven Globerman & John C. Ries & Ilan Vertinsky, 1994. "The Economic Performance of Foreign Affiliates in Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 27(1), pages 143-56, February.
  16. Gershenberg, Irving, 1987. "The training and spread of managerial know-how, a comparative analysis of multinational and other firms in Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 15(7), pages 931-939, July.
  17. repec:eme:rlepps:v:18:y:1999:i:1999:p:281-302 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Strobl, Eric & Thornton, Robert, 2002. "Do Large Employers Pay More in Developing Countries? The Case of Five African Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 660, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Lim, David, 1977. "Do foreign companies pay higher wages than their local counterparts in Malaysian manufacturing?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 55-66, February.
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