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Do Smaller Firms Pay Less in the Caribbean? The Case of Trinidad and Tobago


  • Miguel Marcelle
  • Eric Strobl


This article constitutes the first study of the employer size wage effect for a Caribbean country, namely the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Using a rich micro-level data set we estimate the firm size wage premium in an empirical model of wage determination. Despite exploring a variety of theories, samples, estimation techniques and tests, we find that, consistent with the empirical literature, larger firms in Trinidad and Tobago pay higher wages than smaller firms, for equally productive workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Miguel Marcelle & Eric Strobl, 2003. "Do Smaller Firms Pay Less in the Caribbean? The Case of Trinidad and Tobago," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(5), pages 181-198.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jdevst:v:39:y:2003:i:5:p:181-198
    DOI: 10.1080/00220380412331333199

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James R. Tybout, 2000. "Manufacturing Firms in Developing Countries: How Well Do They Do, and Why?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(1), pages 11-44, March.
    2. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 1-9.
    3. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
    4. Velenchik, Ann D., 1997. "Government intervention, efficiency wages, and the employer size wage effect in Zimbabwe," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 305-338, August.
    5. Albaek, Karsten & Arai, Mahmood & Asplund, Rita & Barth, Erling & Strojer Madsen, Erik, 1998. "Measuring wage effects of plant size," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 425-448, December.
    6. Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC's: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227.
    7. Josef Zweimuller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 1999. "Firm-Size Wage Differentials in Switzerland: Evidence from Job-Changers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 89-93, May.
    8. Schmidt, Christoph M & Zimmermann, Klaus F, 1991. "Work Characteristics, Firm Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(4), pages 705-710, November.
    9. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
    10. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2002. "Multinational Companies and Entrant Start-up Size: Evidence from Quantile Regressions," Review of Industrial Organization, Springer;The Industrial Organization Society, vol. 20(1), pages 15-31, February.
    11. David S. Evans & Linda S. Leighton, 1989. "Why Do Smaller Firms Pay Less?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(2), pages 299-318.
    12. Kenneth R. Troske & Kimberly Bayard, 1999. "Examining the Employer-Size Wage Premium in the Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Service Industries Using Employer-Employee Matched Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 99-103, May.
    13. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-293, March.
    14. Brigitte C. Madrian & Lars John Lefgren, 1999. "A Note on Longitudinally Matching Current Population Survey (CPS) Respondents," NBER Technical Working Papers 0247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Schaffner, Julie Anderson, 1998. "Premiums to employment in larger establishments: evidence from Peru," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 81-113, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nielsen, Ingrid & Smyth, Russell, 2008. "Who bears the burden of employer compliance with social security contributions? Evidence from Chinese firm level data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 230-244, June.
    2. 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).
    3. El Badaoui, Eliane & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2010. "The formal sector wage premium and firm size," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 37-47, January.
    4. Eric Strobl & Robert Thornton, 2004. "Do Large Employers Pay More? The Case Of Five Developing African Countries," Journal of Economic Development, Chung-Ang Unviersity, Department of Economics, vol. 29(1), pages 137-161, June.

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