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Intra-firm Wage Dispersion and Firm Performance

Listed author(s):
  • Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf
  • Zweimüller, Josef

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1621.

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Date of creation: Apr 1997
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1621
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  1. 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 841-864, October.
  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. Hibbs, Douglas A, Jr & Locking, Hakan, 2000. "Wage Dispersion and Productive Efficiency: Evidence for Sweden," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 18(4), pages 755-782, October.
  4. 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.
  5. Fichtenbaum, Rudy & Shahidi, Hushang, 1988. "Truncation Bias and the Measurement of Income Inequality," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 335-337, July.
  6. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Wage Policy of a Firm," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 921-955.
  7. Alan S. Blinder & Don H. Choi, 1990. "A Shred of Evidence on Theories of Wage Stickiness," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(4), pages 1003-1015.
  8. Jonathan S. Leonard, 1990. "Executive Pay and Firm Performance," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 43(3), pages 13, April.
  9. Josef Zweimuller & Rudolf Winter-Ebmer, 1999. "Firm-Size Wage Differentials in Switzerland: Evidence from Job-Changers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 89-93, May.
  10. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
  11. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
  12. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J & Garrett, Mario D, 1990. "Insider Power in Wage Determination," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(226), pages 143-170, May.
  13. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf & Zweimuller, Josef, 1996. "Immigration and the Earnings of Young Native Workers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 48(3), pages 473-491, July.
  14. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
  15. Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
  16. Ernst FEHR & Simon GÄCHTER & Georg KIRCHSTEIGER, 1994. "Reciprocal Fairness and Noncompensating Wage Differentials," Vienna Economics Papers vie9401, University of Vienna, Department of Economics.
  17. Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf, 1994. "Endogenous Growth, Human Capital, and Industry Wages," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(4), pages 289-314, October.
  18. Richard B. Freeman, 1982. "Union Wage Practices and Wage Dispersion within Establishments," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(1), pages 3-21, October.
  19. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Efficiency of Equity in Organizational Decision Processes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 154-159, May.
  20. David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald & Peter Sanfey, 1996. "Wages, Profits, and Rent-Sharing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 227-251.
  21. repec:adr:anecst:y:1996:i:41-42:p:14 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. George Baker & Michael Gibbs & Bengt Holmstrom, 1994. "The Internal Economics of the Firm: Evidence from Personnel Data," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(4), pages 881-919.
  23. repec:sae:ilrrev:v:43:y:1990:i:3:p:13-29 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Falkinger, Josef, 1999. "Social instability and redistribution of income," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 35-51, March.
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