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Insurance within the Firm

  • Luigi Guiso

    (Universit� di Sas sari, Ente Luigi Einaudi an d C EPR)

  • Luigi Pistaferri

    (Stanford University, SIEPR and CEPR)

  • Fabiano Schivardi

    ()

    (Banca d'Italia)

The full insurance hypothesis states that shocks to the firm's performance do not affect workers' compensation. In principal-agent models withmoral 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 fully absorb transitory fluctuations in productivity but insure workers only partially against permanent shocks. Risk-sharing considerations can account for about 10 percent 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 labor market models, with or without frictions.

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File URL: http://www.bancaditalia.it/pubblicazioni/temi-discussione/2001/2001-0414/tema_414_01.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) with number 414.

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Date of creation: Aug 2001
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Handle: RePEc:bdi:wptemi:td_414_01
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  1. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," NBER Working Papers 8876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Gamber, Edward N, 1988. "Long-term Risk-Sharing Wage Contracts in an Economy Subject to Permanent and Temporary Shocks," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 6(1), pages 83-99, January.
  3. Tobias J. Moskowitz & Annette Vissing-Jørgensen, 2002. "The Returns to Entrepreneurial Investment: A Private Equity Premium Puzzle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 745-778, September.
  4. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  5. L Christofides & A Oswald, 1991. "Real Wage Determination and Rent-Sharing in Collective Bargaining Agreements," CEP Discussion Papers dp0042, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2002. "Inverse probability weighted M-estimators for sample selection, attrition and stratification," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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