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Rent sharing before and after the wage bill

  • Pedro Martins

Many biases plague the analysis of whether employers share rents with their employees, unlike what is predicted by the competitive labour market model. Using a Portuguese matched employer-employee panel, this article is one of the first to address these biases in three complementary ways: (1) Controlling directly for the fact that firms that share more rents will, ceteris paribus, have lower net-of-wages profits. (2) Instrumenting profits via interactions between the exchange rate and the share of exports in firm's total sales. (3) Considering firm or firm/worker spell fixed effects and highlighting the role of downward wage rigidity. These approaches clarify conflicting findings in the literature and result, in our preferred specifications, in significant evidence of rent sharing (a Lester range of pay dispersion of 56%), also shown to be robust to a number of competitive interpretations.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Applied Economics.

Volume (Year): 41 (2009)
Issue (Month): 17 ()
Pages: 2133-2151

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Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:17:p:2133-2151
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  10. Arai, Mahmood & Heyman, Fredrik, 2001. "Wages, Profits and Individual Unemployment Risk : Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Working Paper Series 172, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
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  17. Sandra E. Black & Philip E. Strahan, 2001. "The Division of Spoils: Rent-Sharing and Discrimination in a Regulated Industry," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 814-831, September.
  18. Margolis, D.N. & Salvanes, K.G., 2001. "Do Firms Really Share Rents with Their Workers?," Papers 11/2001, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration-.
  19. Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  20. Joop Hartog & Pedro Pereira & José Vieira, 2000. "Inter-industry Wage Dispersion in Portugal," Empirica, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 353-364, December.
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  22. Steinar Holden & Fredrik Wulfsberg, 2004. "Downward Nominal Wage Rigidity in Europe (new title: The costs of price stability - downward nominal wage rigidity in Europe)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1177, CESifo Group Munich.
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