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Employer-Provided Benefit Plans, Workforce Composition and Firm Outcomes

  • Anja Decressin
  • Julia Lane
  • Kristin McCue
  • Martha Stinson

What do firms gain by offering benefits? Economists have proposed two payoffs: (i) benefits may be a more cost-effective form of compensation than wages for employees facing high marginal tax rates, and (ii) benefits may attract a more stable, skilled workforce. Both should improve firm outcomes, but we have little evidence on this matter. This paper exploits a rich new dataset to examine how firm productivity and survival are related to benefit offering, and finds that benefit-offering firms have higher productivity and higher survival rates. Differences in firm and workforce characteristics explain some but not all of the differences in outcomes.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/tp/tp-2005-01.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers with number 2005-01.

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Length: 45 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:tpaper:2005-01
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  1. Dickens, William T & Lang, Kevin, 1985. "A Test of Dual Labor Market Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(4), pages 792-805, September.
  2. John M. Abowd & Paul A. Lengermann & Kevin L. McKinney, 2002. "The Measurement of Human Capital in the U.S. Economy," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-09, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau, revised Mar 2003.
  3. John Abowd & John Haltiwanger & Ron Jarmin & Julia Lane & Paul Lengermann & Kristin McCue & Kevin McKinney & Kristin Sandusky, 2002. "The Relation among Human Capital, Productivity and Market Value: Building Up from Micro Evidence," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  6. Richard D. Miller, Jr., 2004. "Estimating the Compensating Differential for Employer-Provided Health Insurance," International Journal of Health Care Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(1), pages 27-41, 03.
  7. Dan A. Black, 1996. "Family Health Benefits and Worker Turnover," Labor and Demography 9604001, EconWPA.
  8. Alan L. Gustman & Thomas L. Steinmeier & Olivia Mitchell, 1994. "The role of pensions in the labor market: A survey of the literature," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 417-438, April.
  9. William E. Even & David A. Macpherson, 1996. "Employer size and labor turnover: The role of pensions," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(4), pages 707-728, July.
  10. Richard A. Ippolito, 2002. "Stayers as "Workers" and "Savers": Toward Reconciling the Pension-Quit Literature," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 275-308.
  11. Anja Decressin & Kristin McCue & Martha Stinson, 2003. "Describing the Form 5500-Business Register Match," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2003-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  12. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  13. Stephen A. Woodbury, 2009. "Unemployment," Book chapters authored by Upjohn Institute researchers, in: Kenneth G. Dau-Schmidt & Seth D. Harris & Orley Lobel (ed.), Labor and Employment Law and Economics, volume 2, pages 480-516 W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  14. William T. Alpert & Stephen A. Woodbury (ed.), 2000. "Employee Benefits and Labor Markets in Canada and the United States," Books from Upjohn Press, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, number eblm, December.
  15. Richard A. Ippolito, 1994. "Pensions and Indenture Premia," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 29(3), pages 795-812.
  16. Alan L. Gustman & Olivia S. Mitchell & Thomas L. Steinmeier, 1994. "The Role of Pensions in the Labor Market: A Survey of the Literature," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(3), pages 417-438, April.
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