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Production Function and Wage Equation Estimation with Heterogenous Labor: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Dataset

  • Judith Hellerstein
  • David Neumark

In this paper, we first describe the 1990 DEED, the most recently constructed matched employeremployee data set for the United States that contains detailed demographic information on workers (most notably, information on education). We then use the data from manufacturing establishments in the 1990 DEED to update and expand on previous findings, using a more limited data set, regarding the measurement of the labor input and theories of wage determination (Hellerstein, et al., 1999). We find that the productivity of women is less than that of men, but not by enough to fully explain the gap in wages, a result that is consistent with wage discrimination against women. In contrast, we find no evidence of wage discrimination against blacks. We estimate that both the wage and productivity profiles are rising but concave to the origin (consistent with profiles quadratic in age), but the estimated relative wage profile is steeper than the relative productivity profile, consistent with models of deferred wages. We find a productivity premium for marriage equal to that of the wage premium, and a productivity premium for education that somewhat exceeds the wage premium. Exploring the sensitivity of these results, we also find that different specifications of production functions do not have any qualitative effects on the these results. Finally, the results indicate that the returns to productive inputs (capital, materials, labor quality) as well as the residual variance are virtually unaffected by the choice of the construction of the labor quality input.

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File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2004/CES-WP-04-05.pdf
File Function: First version, 2004
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Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 04-05.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:04-05
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  1. Becker, Gary S., 1971. "The Economics of Discrimination," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 2, number 9780226041162.
  2. G. Steven Olley & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "The Dynamics of Productivity in the Telecommunications Equipment Industry," NBER Working Papers 3977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hellerstein, Judith K & Neumark, David, 1999. "Sex, Wages, and Productivity: An Empirical Analysis of Israeli Firm-Level Data," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(1), pages 95-123, February.
  4. Zvi Griliches & Jacques Mairesse, 1995. "Production Functions: The Search for Identification," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1719, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Ron S Jarmin & Javier Miranda, 2002. "The Longitudinal Business Database," Working Papers 02-17, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Judith HELLERSTEIN & David NEUMARK, 2003. "Ethnicity, Language, and Workplace Segregation: Evidence from a New Matched Employer-Employee Data Set," Annales d'Economie et de Statistique, ENSAE, issue 71-72, pages 19-78.
  8. 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.
  9. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
  10. Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
  11. Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  13. Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
  14. Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  15. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
  16. Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
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