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Globalization and the Provision of Incentives Inside the Firm

  • Cuñat, Vicente
  • Guadalupe, Maria

This paper studies the effect of changes in foreign competition on the incentives faced by U.S. managers in the form of wage structures, promotion profiles, and job turnover. We use a panel of executives and measure foreign competition as import penetration. Using tariffs and exchange rates as instrumental variables, we estimate the causal effect of globalization on the labour market outcomes of these workers. We find that higher foreign competition leads to more incentive provision in a variety of ways. First, it increases the sensitivity of pay to performance. Second, it raises the return to a promotion and increases pay inequality among the top executives of the firm, with CEOs typically experiencing wage increases while lower-ranking executives see their wages fall. Third, higher competition is associated with a higher probability of leaving the firm. Finally, we show that higher foreign competition also is associated with a higher demand for talent at the top of the firm. These results indicate that increased foreign competition can explain some of the recent trends in compensation structures.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5950.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5950
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  1. Stephen Nickell, 1993. "Competition and Corporate Performance," CEP Discussion Papers dp0182, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100, 02.
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  5. Marin, Dalia & Verdier, Thierry, 2002. "Globalization and the 'New Enterprise'," CEPR Discussion Papers 3640, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Cuñat, Vicente & Guadalupe, Maria, 2004. "Executive Compensation and Competition in the Banking and Financial Sectors," IZA Discussion Papers 1123, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. María Guadalupe, 2005. "Product Market Competition Returns to Skill and Wage Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp0686, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  8. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  9. repec:hrv:faseco:4784031 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Robert Gibbons, 2005. "Incentives Between Firms (and Within)," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(1), pages 2-17, January.
  11. Kevin J. Murphy & Ján Zábojník, 2004. "CEO Pay and Appointments: A Market-Based Explanation for Recent Trends," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 192-196, May.
  12. Benjamin E. Hermalin., 1991. "The Effects of Competition on Executive Behavior," Economics Working Papers 91-182, University of California at Berkeley.
  13. Raghuram Rajan & Julie Wulf, 2003. "The Flattening Firm: Evidence from Panel Data on the Changing Nature of Corporate Hierarchies," NBER Working Papers 9633, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Michael Raith, 2003. "Competition, Risk, and Managerial Incentives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1425-1436, September.
  15. Murphy, Kevin J., 1999. "Executive compensation," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 38, pages 2485-2563 Elsevier.
  16. Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban & Garicano, Luis & Antras, Pol, 2006. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," Scholarly Articles 3196323, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  17. Baldwin, Richard & Krugman, Paul, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 635-54, November.
  18. David Scharfstein, 1988. "Product-Market Competition and Managerial Slack," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 19(1), pages 147-155, Spring.
  19. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2005. "How Does Product Market Competition Shape Incentive Contracts?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 1058-1082, 09.
  20. Katz, Lawrence F. & Autor, David H., 1999. "Changes in the wage structure and earnings inequality," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1463-1555 Elsevier.
  21. Kevin J. Murphy, 1986. "Incentives, Learning, and Compensation: A Theoretical and Empirical Investigation of Managerial Labor Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 17(1), pages 59-76, Spring.
  22. Mark R. Huson, 2001. "Internal Monitoring Mechanisms and CEO Turnover: A Long-Term Perspective," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(6), pages 2265-2297, December.
  23. Slaughter, Matthew J, 1998. "International Trade and Labour-Market Outcomes: Results, Questions, and Policy Options," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1452-62, September.
  24. Revenga, Ana L, 1992. "Exporting Jobs? The Impact of Import Competition on Employment and Wages in U.S. Manufacturing," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(1), pages 255-84, February.
  25. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
  26. Marianne Bertrand & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2001. "Are Ceos Rewarded For Luck? The Ones Without Principals Are," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 116(3), pages 901-932, August.
  27. Gibbons, Robert & Waldman, Michael, 1999. "Careers in organizations: Theory and evidence," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 36, pages 2373-2437 Elsevier.
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