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Establishment Wage Differentials

  • Lane, Julia I.

    ()

    (The National Opinion Research Center (NORC) and IZA)

  • Salmon, Laurie A.

    ()

    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

  • Spletzer, James R.

    ()

    (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Economists have long known that individual wages depend on a combination of employee and employer characteristics, as well as the interaction of the two. Although it is important to understand how employee and employer characteristics are related to wages, little is known about the magnitude and relation of these wage effects. This is primarily due to the lack of microdata which links individuals to the establishments where they work, but also due to technical difficulties associated with separating out employee and employer effects. This paper uses data from the Occupational Employment Statistics program at the Bureau of Labor Statistics that permit both of these issues to be addressed. Our results show that employer effects contribute substantially to earnings differences across individuals. We also find that establishments that pay well for one occupation also pay well for others. This paper contributes to the growing literature that analyzes firms’ compensation policies, and specifically the topic of employer effects on wages.

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Paper provided by U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in its series Working Papers with number 403.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec070020
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  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. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," NBER Working Papers 5718, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
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  9. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  10. Levine, David I, 1992. "Can Wage Increases Pay for Themselves? Tests with a Production Function," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1102-15, September.
  11. Haltiwanger, John C. & Lane, Julia I. & Spletzer, James R., 2007. "Wages, productivity, and the dynamic interaction of businesses and workers," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3), pages 575-602, June.
  12. Martin Segal, 1986. "Post-institutionalism in labor economics: The forties and fifties revisited," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(3), pages 388-403, April.
  13. Groshen, Erica L, 1991. "Sources of Intra-industry Wage Dispersion: How Much Do Employers Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(3), pages 869-84, August.
  14. Hildreth, Andrew K G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1997. "Rent-Sharing and Wages: Evidence from Company and Establishment Panels," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 318-37, April.
  15. Simon Burgess & Julia Lane & David Stevens, 1996. "Job Flows, Worker Flows and Churning," Labor and Demography 9604004, EconWPA.
  16. Erica L. Groshen, 1988. "Why do wages vary among employers?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q I, pages 19-38.
  17. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  18. Erica Groshen & David Levine, 1998. "The rise and decline(?) of U.S. internal labor markets," Research Paper 9819, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  19. Pekkarinen, Tuomas, 2002. "Complexity, wages, and the O-ring production function: evidence from Finnish panel data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 531-546, September.
  20. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1987. "Inter-Industry Wage Differences and Theories of Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 2271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bronars, Stephen G & Famulari, Melissa, 1997. "Wage, Tenure, and Wage Growth Variation within and across Establishment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 285-317, April.
  22. Mizala, Alejandra & Romaguera, Pilar, 1998. "Wage Differentials and Occupational Wage Premia: Firm-Level Evidence for Brazil and Chile," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 44(2), pages 239-57, June.
  23. 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.
  24. Doms, Mark & Dunne, Timothy & Troske, Kenneth R, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-90, February.
  25. Françis KRAMARZ & Francis KRAMARZ & Louis-Paul PELÉ, 1996. "Wage Inequalities and Firm-Specific Compensation policies in France," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 41-42, pages 369-386.
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