IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/csa/wpaper/2002-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does firm size really affect earnings?

Author

Listed:
  • Måns Söderbom
  • Francis Teal
  • Anthony Wambugu

Abstract

In this paper we investigate the implications of labour and capital market imperfections for the relationship between firm size and earnings. To establish that such a question is of interest we need to show that the firm size-wage effect cannot be explained by either the observed or unobserved skills of the workforce or the characteristics of the workplace. To do that we require data where controls are possible for observable time-varying firm and worker characteristics, as well as the unobservable characteristics of both the firm and its workers. Our data is a sample of workers matched with firms over time so such controls are possible. Changes in wages are shown to respond to changes both to profits per employee and the size of the firm. It is argued that these empirical results clearly reject the hypothesis that the firm-size relationship can be explained by the skills of the workers. They can be shown to be consistent with some forms of non-competitive theories of bargaining and efficiency wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Måns Söderbom & Francis Teal & Anthony Wambugu, 2002. "Does firm size really affect earnings?," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-08, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2002-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://ora.ox.ac.uk/objects/uuid:dd9559f8-6f76-46fb-8924-99f7518d18c7
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Sparks, Roger, 1986. "A Model of Involuntary Unemployment and Wage Rigidity: Worker Incentives and the Threat of Dismissal," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(4), pages 560-581, October.
    2. Pack, Howard, 1993. "Productivity and industrial development in sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 1-16, January.
    3. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    4. Wadhwani, Sushil B & Wall, Martin, 1991. "A Direct Test of the Efficiency Wage Model Using UK Micro-data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(4), pages 529-548, October.
    5. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Kremer, M & Maskin, E, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation by Skill," Working papers 96-23, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    7. John Van Reenen, 1996. "The Creation and Capture of Rents: Wages and Innovation in a Panel of U. K. Companies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(1), pages 195-226.
    8. Michael Kremer, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-575.
    9. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214, Elsevier.
    10. Kenneth R. Troske, 1999. "Evidence On The Employer Size-Wage Premium From Worker-Establishment Matched Data," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 15-26, February.
    11. Raff, Daniel M G & Summers, Lawrence H, 1987. "Did Henry Ford Pay Efficiency Wages?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 57-86, October.
    12. Levine, David I, 1992. "Can Wage Increases Pay for Themselves? Tests with a Production Function," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(414), pages 1102-1115, September.
    13. Dunne, Timothy & Schmitz, James A, Jr, 1995. "Wages, Employment Structure and Employer Size-Wage Premia: Their Relationship to Advanced-Technology Usage at US Manufacturing Establishments," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 62(245), pages 89-107, February.
    14. Blundell, Richard & Bond, Stephen, 1998. "Initial conditions and moment restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 115-143, August.
    15. Griliches, Zvi & Hausman, Jerry A., 1986. "Errors in variables in panel data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 93-118, February.
    16. Bowsher, Clive G., 2002. "On testing overidentifying restrictions in dynamic panel data models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 211-220, October.
    17. Bulow, Jeremy I & Summers, Lawrence H, 1986. "A Theory of Dual Labor Markets with Application to Industrial Policy,Discrimination, and Keynesian Unemployment," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 4(3), pages 376-414, July.
    18. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis, 2004. "Size and efficiency in African manufacturing firms: evidence from firm-level panel data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 369-394, February.
    19. Huang, Tzu-Ling & Hallam, Arne & Orazem, Peter & Paterno, Elizabeth M., 1998. "Empirical Tests of Efficiency Wage Models," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1325, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    20. Topel, Robert H, 1991. "Specific Capital, Mobility, and Wages: Wages Rise with Job Seniority," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(1), pages 145-176, February.
    21. Leung, Siu Fai & Yu, Shihti, 1996. "On the choice between sample selection and two-part models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1-2), pages 197-229.
    22. 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.
    23. Moll, Peter G., 1993. "Industry wage differentials and efficiency wages : A dissenting view with South African evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 213-246, August.
    24. Idson, Todd L & Feaster, Daniel J, 1990. "A Selectivity Model of Employer-Size Wage Differentials," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 8(1), pages 99-122, January.
    25. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Anders Isaksson & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattilo & Mans Soderbom & Michel Sylvain & Francis Teal &, 1999. "Investment in Africa's Manufacturing Sector: A Four Country Panel Data Analysis," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 61(4), pages 489-512, November.
    26. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    27. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    28. Denny, Kevin & Nickell, Stephen J, 1992. "Unions and Investment in British Industry," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 874-887, July.
    29. Ringuede, Sebastien, 1998. "An efficiency wage model for small firms: firm size and wages," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 263-268, May.
    30. Lawrence F. Katz & Lawrence H. Summers, 1989. "Industry Rents: Evidence and Implications," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 20(1989 Micr), pages 209-290.
    31. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 2003. "Firm Age and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 677-698, July.
    32. 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.
    33. John A. Abowd & Thomas Lemieux, 1993. "The Effects of Product Market Competition on Collective Bargaining Agreements: The Case of Foreign Competition in Canada," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 108(4), pages 983-1014.
    34. Strobl, Eric & Thornton, Robert, 2002. "Do Large Employers Pay More in Developing Countries? The Case of Five African Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 660, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    35. Mazumdar, Dipak, 1976. "The Rural-Urban Wage Gap, Migration, and the Shadow Wage," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(3), pages 406-425, November.
    36. Manning, Alan, 1987. "An Integration of Trade Union Models in a Sequential Bargaining Framework," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(385), pages 121-139, March.
    37. Mellow, Wesley, 1982. "Employer Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 495-501, August.
    38. Shapiro, Carl & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1984. "Equilibrium Unemployment as a Worker Discipline Device," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 433-444, June.
    39. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
    40. Teal, Francis, 1996. "The Size and sources of economic rents in a developing country manufacturing labour market," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 106(437), pages 963-976, July.
    41. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    42. Weiss, Andrew W, 1980. "Job Queues and Layoffs in Labor Markets with Flexible Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(3), pages 526-538, June.
    43. Kenneth R. Troske & Kimberly Bayard, 1999. "Examining the Employer-Size Wage Premium in the Manufacturing, Retail Trade, and Service Industries Using Employer-Employee Matched Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 99-103, May.
    44. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Muravyev, 2007. "Firm Size, Wages and Unobserved Skills: Evidence from Dual Job Holdings in the UK," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 681, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Ernest Ouédraogo & Ibrahim Ouédraogo & Emmanuel Lompo, 2020. "Political Instability and Firm Performance: A Microeconomic Evidence from Ivory Coast," American Journal of Economics and Business Administration, Science Publications, vol. 12(1), pages 49-55, October.
    3. Geoff Weir, 2018. "Wage Growth Puzzles and Technology," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2018-10, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    4. Golub, Stephen & Hayat, Faraz, 2014. "Employment, unemployment, and underemployment in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 014, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    5. Stephen Golub & Faraz Hayat, 2014. "Employment, Unemployment, and Underemployment in Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2014-014, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    6. Muñoz de Bustillo, Rafael & Antón, José-Ignacio, 2007. "Low wage work in high employment growth economy, Spain 1994-2004," MPRA Paper 13847, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Fox, Louise & Oviedo, Ana Maria, 2008. "Are skills rewarded in Sub-Saharan Africa ? determinants of wages and productivity in the manufacturing sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4688, The World Bank.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom, 2002. "Does firm size really affect earnings?," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-08, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom, 2001. "Firm size and human capital as determinants of productivity and earnings," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2001-09, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    3. Soderbom, Mans & Teal, Francis, 2004. "Size and efficiency in African manufacturing firms: evidence from firm-level panel data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 369-394, February.
    4. Majumdar, Sumit K., 2010. "Institutional changes, firm size and wages in the telecommunications sector," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 201-217, July.
    5. Robert Plasman & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2006. "Industry wage differentials, unobserved ability, and rent-sharing: evidence from matched employer-employee, 1992-2005," DULBEA Working Papers 06-14.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    6. Thierry Lallemand & Robert Plasman & François Rycx, 2007. "The establishment-size wage premium: evidence from European countries," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 34(5), pages 427-451, December.
    7. Veronique Genre & Karsten Kohn & Daphne Momferatou, 2011. "Understanding inter-industry wage structures in the euro area," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(11), pages 1299-1313.
    8. Claudio Michelacci & Vincenzo Quadrini, 2009. "Financial Markets and Wages," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 795-827.
    9. Marcel Fafchampsm & Måns Söderbom, 2006. "Wages and Labor Management in African Manufacturing," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 41(2).
    10. Sonia R Bhalotra, 1998. "Investigating Rationality in Wage-Setting," STICERD - Development Economics Papers - From 2008 this series has been superseded by Economic Organisation and Public Policy Discussion Papers 10, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
    11. Dobbelaere, Sabien & Mairesse, Jacques, 2018. "Comparing micro-evidence on rent sharing from two different econometric models," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 18-26.
    12. Sabien Dobbelaere & Jacques Mairesse, 2010. "Comparing Micro-evidence on Rent Sharing from Three Different Approaches," NBER Working Papers 16220, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Alexander Muravyev, 2007. "Firm Size, Wages and Unobserved Skills: Evidence from Dual Job Holdings in the UK," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 681, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    14. Lane, Julia I. & Salmon, Laurie A. & Spletzer, James R., 2007. "Establishment Wage Differentials," Working Papers 403, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
    15. Nicole Guertzgen, 2009. "Rent‐sharing and Collective Bargaining Coverage: Evidence from Linked Employer–Employee Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(2), pages 323-349, June.
    16. Francis Teal & Måns Söderbom, 2002. "Size and Efficiency in African Manufacturing Firms: Evidence from Firm-Level Panel Data," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/2002-07, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    17. Du Caju, Philip & Rycx, Francois & Tojerow, Ilan, 2008. "Rent-Sharing and the Cyclicality of Wage Differentials," IZA Discussion Papers 3844, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. Eric A. Verhoogen, 2008. "Trade, Quality Upgrading, and Wage Inequality in the Mexican Manufacturing Sector," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 489-530.
    19. Arulampalam, Wiji & Devereux, Michael P. & Maffini, Giorgia, 2012. "The direct incidence of corporate income tax on wages," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1038-1054.
    20. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2165-2214 is not listed on IDEAS
    21. Guy Navon & Ilan Tojerow, 2013. "Does Rent-sharing Profit Female and Male Workers? Evidence from Israeli Matched Employer–Employee Data," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 27(3), pages 331-349, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Skills; efficiency wages; bargaining; firm size; earnings; African manufacturing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2002-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/csaoxuk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Julia Coffey (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/csaoxuk.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.