IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Microdata evidence on rent-sharing


  • Mahmood Arai
  • Fredrik Heyman


We examine the effect of firm profits on wages for individual workers while focusing on the empirical complications associated with estimating the extent of rent-sharing. Controlling for worker and firm fixed-effects and using several instruments to deal with the endogeneity of profits, we report results indicating that Ordinary Least Square (OLS)-estimates strongly underestimate the effects of profits on wages. Moreover, the effect of profits on wages are estimated separately for firms with increasing and decreasing profits within a given time period. We find a positive and stable effect only in firms with increasing profits. This is in line with the idea that falling profits do not lead to wage cuts while increasing profits imply higher wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Mahmood Arai & Fredrik Heyman, 2009. "Microdata evidence on rent-sharing," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(23), pages 2965-2976.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:23:p:2965-2976
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840701721620

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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-.
    2. Nekby, Lena, 2002. "Gender Differences in Rent Sharing and its Implications for the Gender Wage Gap," Working Paper Series 182, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
    4. Manning, Alan, 1994. "How Robust Is the Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 12(3), pages 430-459, July.
    5. Marcello Estevao & Stacey Tevlin, 2003. "Do Firms Share their Success with Workers? The Response of Wages to Product Market Conditions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 70(280), pages 597-617, November.
    6. Oswald, Andrew J, 1982. "The Microeconomic Theory of the Trade Union," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(367), pages 576-595, September.
    7. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1999. "Survey Evidence on Wage Rigidity: Sweden in the 1990s," Working Paper Series 154, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Moulton, Brent R, 1990. "An Illustration of a Pitfall in Estimating the Effects of Aggregate Variables on Micro Unit," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(2), pages 334-338, May.
    9. Holmlund, Bertil & Zetterberg, Johnny, 1991. "Insider effects in wage determination : Evidence from five countries," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 1009-1034, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Mikael Carlsson & Julián Messina & Oskar Nordström Skans, 2016. "Wage Adjustment and Productivity Shocks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(595), pages 1739-1773, September.
    2. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Mairesse, Jacques, 2017. "Comparing Micro-Evidence on Rent Sharing from Two Different Econometric Models," IZA Discussion Papers 11156, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. David Card & Ana Rute Cardoso & Joerg Heining & Patrick Kline, 2018. "Firms and Labor Market Inequality: Evidence and Some Theory," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 13-70.
    4. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Wage Fairness, Growth and the Utilization of R&D Workers," Working Paper Series 206, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    5. Lundborg, Per, 2005. "Wage Theories for the Swedish Labour Market," Working Paper Series 207, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
    6. David Card & Francesco Devicienti & Agata Maida, 2014. "Rent-sharing, Holdup, and Wages: Evidence from Matched Panel Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(1), pages 84-111.
    7. Kuhn, Johan Moritz, 2007. "My Pay is Too Bad (I Quit). Your Pay is Too Good (You're Fired)," Working Papers 07-5, University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics.
    8. repec:ebd:wpaper:164 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:41:y:2009:i:23:p:2965-2976. 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: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.