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Is firm performance driven by fairness or tournaments? Evidence from Brazilian matched data

  • Luiz A. Esteves
  • Pedro S. Martins

Theory and evidence are ambiguous about the effect of within-firm wage inequality on firm performance. This paper tests empirically this relationship drawing on detailed Brazilian matched employer-employee panel data, considering alternative measures of inequality and performance and different estimation methods. We find overwhelming evidence of a positive relationship between wage dispersion and firm performance when using cross-section analysis, especially in manufacturing. However, this relationship is weakened when controlling for firm time-invariant heterogeneity.

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File URL: http://webspace.qmul.ac.uk/pmartins/CGRWP16.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research in its series Working Papers with number 16.

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Date of creation: Jul 2008
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Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:16
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  1. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  2. Martins, Pedro S. & Esteves, Luiz A., 2006. "Is There Rent Sharing in Developing Countries? Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," IZA Discussion Papers 2317, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1988. "Fairness and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 44-49, May.
  4. François Rycx & Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman, 2004. "Intra-firm wage dispersion and firm performance: evidence from linked employer-employee data," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/781, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Martins, Pedro S., 2008. "Dispersion in wage premiums and firm performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 63-65, October.
  6. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2009. "Wage structure and firm productivity in Belgium," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/8733, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  7. Main, Brian G M & O'Reilly, Charles A, III & Wade, James, 1993. "Top Executive Pay: Tournament or Teamwork?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(4), pages 606-28, October.
  8. Milgrom, Paul R, 1988. "Employment Contracts, Influence Activities, and Efficient Organization Design," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(1), pages 42-60, February.
  9. Heyman, Fredrik, 2002. "Pay Inequality and Firm Performance: Evidence from Matched Employer-Employee Data," Working Paper Series 186, Trade Union Institute for Economic Research.
  10. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  11. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-83, May.
  12. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1990. "Executive pay and firm performance," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 13-29, February.
  13. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1999. "Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 555-72.
  14. Hibbs Jr., Douglas A. & Locking, Håkan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence For Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 21, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  15. Martins, Pedro S. & Pereira, Pedro T., 2004. "Does education reduce wage inequality? Quantile regression evidence from 16 countries," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 355-371, June.
  16. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
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