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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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cgs:wpaper:16
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  1. 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.
  2. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
  3. Pedro Martins & Luiz Alberto Esteves, 2007. "Is There Rent Sharing In Developing Countries? Matched-Panel Evidence from Brazil," Working Papers 0060, Universidade Federal do Paraná, Department of Economics.
  4. Pedro S. Martins, 2008. "Dispersion in Wage Premiums and Firm Performance," Working Papers 8, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
  5. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1999. "Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 555-72.
  6. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2009. "Wage Structure and Firm Productivity in Belgium," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 179-215 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  8. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2004. "Intra-Firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance: Evidence from Linked Employer-Employee Data," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 57(4), pages 533-558, November.
  9. Akerlof, George A & Yellen, Janet L, 1988. "Fairness and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 44-49, May.
  10. Fredrik Heyman, 2005. "Pay inequality and firm performance: evidence from matched employer-employee data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(11), pages 1313-1327.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Milgrom, Paul R., 1987. "employment contracts, influence activities and efficient organization design," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt6pf6c5j6, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  14. 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.
  15. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-80, June.
  16. 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.
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