IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

Firm Market Power and the Earnings Distribution

  • Douglas Webber

Using the Longitudinal Employer Household Dynamics (LEHD) data from the United States Census Bureau, I compute firm-level measures of labor market (monopsony) power. To generate these measures, I extend the dynamic model proposed by Manning (2003) and estimate the labor supply elasticity facing each private non-farm firm in the US. While a link between monopsony power and earnings has traditionally been assumed, I provide the first direct evidence of the positive relationship between a firm\'s labor supply elasticity and the earnings of its workers. I also contrast the semistructural method with the more traditional use of concentration ratios to measure a firm\'s labor market power. In addition, I provide several alternative measures of labor market power which account for potential threats to identification such as endogenous mobility. Finally, I construct a counterfactual earnings distribution which allows the effects of firm market power to vary across the earnings distribution. I estimate the average firm\'s labor supply elasticity to be 1.08, however my findings suggest there to be significant variability in the distribution of firm market power across US firms, and that dynamic monopsony models are superior to the use of concentration ratios in evaluating a firm\'s labor market power. I find that a one-unit increase in the labor supply elasticity to the firm is associated with wage gains of between 5 and 18 percent. While nontrivial, these estimates imply that firms do not fully exercise their labor market power over their workers. Furthermore, I find that the negative earnings impact of a firm\'s market power is strongest in the lower half of the earnings distribution, and that a one standard deviation increase in firms\' labor supply elasticities reduces the variance of the earnings distribution by 9 percent.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: ftp://ftp2.census.gov/ces/wp/2011/CES-WP-11-41.pdf
File Function: First version, 2011
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau in its series Working Papers with number 11-41.

as
in new window

Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:11-41
Contact details of provider: Postal:
4600 Silver Hill Road, Washington, DC 20233

Phone: (301) 763-6460
Fax: (301) 763-5935
Web page: http://www.census.gov/ces
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Dupuy, Arnaud & Sorensen, Todd A., 2011. "On Input Market Frictions and Estimation of Factors Demand," IZA Discussion Papers 5881, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Hirsch, B.T. & Schumacher, E.J., 1993. "Monopsony Power and Relative Wages in the Labor Market for Nurses," Working Papers 1993_06_03, Department of Economics, Florida State University.
  3. Cahuc, Pierre & Laroque, Guy, 2007. "Optimal Taxation and Monopsonistic Labour Market: Does Monopsony Justify the Minimum Wage?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6416, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1993. "Long-term earnings losses of high-seniority displaced workers," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Nov, pages 2-20.
  5. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Yannis M. Ioannides & Linda Datcher Loury, 2002. "Job Information Networks, Neighborhood Effects and Inequality," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0217, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  7. Muehlemann, Samuel & Pfeifer, Harald & Walden, Günter & Wenzelmann, Felix & Wolter, Stefan C., 2010. "The financing of apprenticeship training in the light of labor market regulations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(5), pages 799-809, October.
  8. Stevens, Margaret, 1994. "A Theoretical Model of On-the-Job Training with Imperfect Competition," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 46(4), pages 537-62, October.
  9. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-73, May.
  10. Adamache, Killard W. & Sloan, Frank A., 1982. "Unions and hospitals : Some unresolved issues," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 81-108, May.
  11. Boris Hirsch & Elke J. Jahn, 2015. "Is There Monopsonistic Discrimination against Immigrants?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 68(3), pages 501-528, May.
  12. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  13. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  14. Michael R Ransom & David P. Sims, 2010. "Estimating the Firm's Labor Supply Curve in a "New Monopsony" Framework: Schoolteachers in Missouri," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 331-355, 04.
  15. Polachek, Solomon W. & Robst, John, 1998. "Employee labor market information: comparing direct world of work measures of workers' knowledge to stochastic frontier estimates," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 231-242, June.
  16. Robert Shimer, 2001. "The Assignment of Workers to Jobs In an Economy with Coordination Frictions," NBER Working Papers 8501, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Abowd, John M. & Vilhuber, Lars, 2011. "National estimates of gross employment and job flows from the Quarterly Workforce Indicators with demographic and industry detail," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(1), pages 82-99, March.
  18. Michael R Ransom & Ronald L. Oaxaca, 2010. "New Market Power Models and Sex Differences in Pay," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 267-289, 04.
  19. John Abowd & Bryce Stephens & Lars Vilhuber, 2006. "The LEHD Infrastructure Files and the Creation of the Quarterly Workforce Indicators," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2006-01, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  20. Daniel Sullivan, 1989. "Monopsony Power in the Market for Nurses," NBER Working Papers 3031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. van den Berg, Gerard J. & van Vuuren, Aico, 2003. "The effect of search frictions on wages," Working Paper Series 2003:12, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  22. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 2003. "The costs of hiring and separations," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(5), pages 499-530, October.
  23. Paul Oyer, 2006. "Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(3), pages 143-160, Summer.
  24. J. J. McCall, 1970. "Economics of Information and Job Search," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(1), pages 113-126.
  25. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00357751, HAL.
  26. Linda Datcher Loury, 2004. "Some Job Contacts are More Equal Than Others: Earnings and Job Information Networks," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0404, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  27. Etienne Wasmer, 2006. "General versus Specific Skills in Labor Markets with Search Frictions and Firing Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 811-831, June.
  28. Kahn, Lisa B., 2010. "The long-term labor market consequences of graduating from college in a bad economy," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 303-316, April.
  29. Yuji Genda & Ayako Kondo & Souichi Ohta, 2010. "Long-Term Effects of a Recession at Labor Market Entry in Japan and the United States," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 45(1).
  30. Martin Bronfenbrenner, 1956. "Potential Monopsony in Labor Markets," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 9(4), pages 577-588, July.
  31. Frank Walsh, 2003. "Comment on 'minimum wages for ronald mcdonald monopsonies: a theory of monopsonistic competition'," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 718-722, 07.
  32. Hurd, Richard W, 1973. "Equilibrium Vacancies in a Labor Market Dominated by Non-Profit Firms: The "Shortage" of Nurses," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(2), pages 234-40, May.
  33. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. V. Bhaskar & Ted To, 1996. "Minimum Wages for Ronald McDonald Monopsonies: A Theory of Monopsonistic Competition," Labor and Demography 9603001, EconWPA, revised 21 May 1996.
  35. Roger Feldman & Richard Scheffler, 1982. "The Union Impact on Hospital Wages and Fringe Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 35(2), pages 196-206, January.
  36. Grégory Jolivet & Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2006. "The Empirical Content of the Job Search Model: Labor Mobility and Wage Distributions in Europe and the U.S," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00308803, HAL.
  37. Hofler, Richard A & Murphy, Kevin J, 1992. "Underpaid and Overworked: Measuring the Effect of Imperfect Information on Wages," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 30(3), pages 511-29, July.
  38. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, 05.
  39. Jolivet, Grégory, 2009. "A longitudinal analysis of search frictions and matching in the U.S. labor market," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(2), pages 121-134, April.
  40. Ridder, Geert & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2003. "Measuring Labour Market Frictions: A Cross-Country Comparison," CEPR Discussion Papers 3978, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  41. Alan Manning, 2010. "Imperfect competition in the labour market," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28729, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  42. Matthew Black, 1981. "An Empirical Test of the Theory of On-The-Job Search," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 16(1), pages 129-140.
  43. Paul Oyer, 2006. "The Macro-Foundations of Microeconomics: Initial Labor Market Conditions and Long-Term Outcomes for Economists," NBER Working Papers 12157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  44. Depew, Briggs & Sorensen, Todd A., 2011. "Elasticity of Supply to the Firm and the Business Cycle," IZA Discussion Papers 5928, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  45. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 1999. "Persistence of Interindustry Wage Differentials: A Reexamination Using Matched Worker-Firm Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 492-533, July.
  46. Walter Y. Oi, 1962. "Labor as a Quasi-Fixed Factor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 538.
  47. Boris Hirsch & Thorsten Schank & Claus Schnabel, 2010. "Differences in Labor Supply to Monopsonistic Firms and the Gender Pay Gap: An Empirical Analysis Using Linked Employer-Employee Data from Germany," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(2), pages 291-330, 04.
  48. Charles R. Link & Russell F. Settle, 1979. "Labor Supply Responses of Married Professional Nurses: New Evidence," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(2), pages 256-266.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:11-41. 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: (Fariha Kamal)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.