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Intra-firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance

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  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  • Zweimüller, Josef

Abstract

Personnel economics has suggested conflicting arguments about the impact of increased wage dispersion within firms on workers’ productivity and firm performance. Besides giving more advancement incentives, bigger wage differentials might also give rise to less cooperation and more politics between workers resulting in worse outcomes. We try to answer these questions using panel data for Austrian firms. As indicators for firm performance we use employment growth and standardized wages. For white-collar wages the following picture emerges: more dispersion leads to higher earnings up to some point where the relation changes direction. For blue-collar wages we find a positive association between dispersion and standardized wages between firms, but no relation within firms over time. For employment growth the results are ambiguous.

Suggested Citation

  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimüller, Josef, 1997. "Intra-firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 1621, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1621
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Gächter & Daniele Nosenzo & Martin Sefton, 2012. "The Impact of Social Comparisons on Reciprocity," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1346-1367, December.
    2. Susana Iranzo & Fabiano Schivardi & Elisa Tosetti, 2008. "Skill Dispersion and Firm Productivity: An Analysis with Employer-Employee Matched Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(2), pages 247-285, April.
    3. 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.
    4. Bingley, P. & Eriksson, T, 2001. "Pay Spread and Skewness. Employee Effort and Firm Productivity," Papers 01-2, Aarhus School of Business - Department of Economics.
    5. Martins, Pedro S., 2008. "Dispersion in wage premiums and firm performance," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 63-65, October.
    6. Teodora Paligorova, 2005. "Czech Managerial Compensations: Why Does It Pay Off to Climb the Corporate Ladder?," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp262, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    7. 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.
    8. Luiz A. Esteves & Pedro S. Martins, 2008. "Is firm performance driven by fairness or tournaments? Evidence from Brazilian matched data," Working Papers 16, Queen Mary, University of London, School of Business and Management, Centre for Globalisation Research.
    9. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2629-2710 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kampkötter, Patrick & Sliwka, Dirk, 2011. "Differentiation and Performance: An Empirical Investigation on the Incentive Effects of Bonus Plans," IZA Discussion Papers 6070, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    11. Nils Braakmann, 2008. "Intra-firm wage inequality and firm performance – First evidence from German linked employer-employee-data," Working Paper Series in Economics 77, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Firm Productivity; Incentives; Wage Dispersion;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J53 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Labor-Management Relations; Industrial Jurisprudence

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