Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? The Swiss Case
Whether or not seniority has a substantial effect on wages has been the subject of much controversy in the past decade, mainly in the U.S. Several economists have noted that unobserved heterogeneity across individuals and across job matches may produce inconsistent OLS-estimates of the effect of tenure on wages and turnover. Hence, labor economists have put forward two empirical strategies to deal with unobserved heterogeneity: Altonji and Shakotko (1987) use an instrumental variable for tenure, which is uncorrelated with the individual and job-specific component of the error term, but highly correlated with job tenure, whereas Topel’s (1991) basic idea is that within-job wage growth combines the returns to general and job-specific experience. These two empirical strategies revealed different returns to seniority and experience for the U.S. labor market. Our goal is, on one hand, to use the different methodologies for the Swiss labor market and, on the other hand, to evaluate the sources of these differences. Thus, we replicate these methods with Swiss data (Swiss Labor Force Survey, SLFS). In a first step, we estimate returns to tenure and experience with the standard regression method, OLS. Subsequently, we apply the Topel and the Altonji/Shakotko estimator, and use different specifications for each. We find that (i) Topel’s approach delivers similar returns to tenure to OLS, i.e. about 8% within ten years of job seniority, while the Altonji/Shakotko method delivers substantially lower returns (4%). (ii) Returns to tenure are minor in Switzerland compared to the U.S.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2001|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: ETH-CEPE, Zürichbergstrasse 18, 8032 Zürich|
Phone: +41-1-632 06 50
Fax: +41-1-632 16 22
Web page: http://www.cepe.ethz.ch
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Dustmann, Christian & Meghir, Costas, 1999.
"Wages, Experience and Seniority,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2077, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Abraham, Katharine G & Farber, Henry S, 1987.
"Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 278-97, June.
- Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority and Earnings," Working papers 407, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Katharine G. Abraham & Henry S. Farber, 1986. "Job Duration, Seniority, and Earnings," NBER Working Papers 1819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Williams, Nicolas, 1991. "Reexamining the Wage, Tenure and Experience Relationship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(3), pages 512-17, August.
- Griliches, Zvi, 1979. "Sibling Models and Data in Economics: Beginnings of a Survey," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages S37-64, October.
- Topel, Robert H, 1991.
"Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
- Robert H. Topel, 1990. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," NBER Working Papers 3294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990.
"Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?,"
653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," NBER Working Papers 3572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Zvi Griliches & Jerry A. Hausman, 1984.
"Errors in Variables in Panel Data,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kevin M. Murphy & Finis Welch, 1992. "The Structure of Wages," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 285-326.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997.
"Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins,"
NBER Working Papers
6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1998. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(1), pages 253-284.
- Alan Manning, 1998.
"Mighty good thing: the returns to tenure,"
LSE Research Online Documents on Economics
20291, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
- Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005.
"Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? A Reassessment,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cee:wpcepe:01-07. 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: (Carlos Ordas)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.