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Insurance within the Firm

Author

Listed:
  • Luigi Guiso
  • Luigi Pistaferri
  • Fabiano Schivardi

Abstract

The full insurance hypothesis states that shocks to the firm's performance do not affect workers' compensation. In principal-agent models with moral hazard, firms trade off insurance and incentives to induce workers to supply the optimal level of effort. We use a long panel of matched employer-employee data to test the theoretical predictions of principal-agent models of wage determination in a general context where all types of workers, not only CEOs, are present. We allow for both transitory and permanent shocks to firm performance and find that firms are willing to absorb fully transitory fluctuations in productivity but insure workers only partially against permanent shocks. Risk-sharing considerations can account for about 10% of overall earnings variability, the remainder originating in idiosyncratic shocks. Finally, we show that the amount of insurance varies by type of worker and firm in ways that are consistent with principal-agent models but are hard to reconcile with competitive labour market models, with or without frictions.
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Suggested Citation

  • Luigi Guiso & Luigi Pistaferri & Fabiano Schivardi, 2005. "Insurance within the Firm," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(5), pages 1054-1087, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:v:113:y:2005:i:5:p:1054-1087
    DOI: 10.1086/432136
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J41 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Labor Contracts

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