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Firm Size, Wages and Unobserved Skills: Evidence from Dual Job Holdings in the UK

  • Alexander Muravyev

The paper examines the labour quality explanation of the employer size-wage gap: larger firms pay higher wages because they employ more skilled workers. Most previous studies control for unobserved skills of workers using longitudinal data and the fixed effects estimator thus relying on a questionable assumption of time-invariant unobserved individual heterogeneity. This paper releases this assumption by using a sample of workers who simultaneously hold two jobs; hence, identification is achieved by differencing across two jobs held at the same time rather than in different periods. A caveat of this approach is possible heterogeneity of the two jobs; this issue is discussed in details in the paper. Based on data from the UK Quarterly Labour Force Survey, this study finds little support for the labour quality explanation: controlling for unobserved skills in the sample of moonlighters does not reduce the estimate of the wage gap.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.55863.de/dp681.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin with number 681.

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Length: 38 p.
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp681
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  11. Barry T. Hirsch, 2005. "Why do part-time workers earn less? The role of worker and job skills," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(4), pages 525-551, July.
  12. Lallemand, Thierry & Plasman, Robert & Rycx, Francois, 2005. "The Establishment-Size Wage Premium: Evidence from European Countries," IZA Discussion Papers 1569, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Main, Brian G M & Reilly, Barry, 1993. "The Employer Size-Wage Gap: Evidence for Britain," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(238), pages 125-42, May.
  14. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
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  17. Solon, Gary, 1988. "Self-selection bias in longitudinal estimation of wage gaps," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 285-290.
  18. Smith Conway, Karen & Kimmel, Jean, 1998. "Male labor supply estimates and the decision to moonlight," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 135-166, June.
  19. 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.
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  22. 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.
  23. João Carlos Cerejeira da Silva, 2004. "Estimating the employer size-wage premium in a panel data model with comparative advantage and non-random selection," NIPE Working Papers 6/2004, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
  24. Michael Kremer & Eric Maskin, 1996. "Wage Inequality and Segregation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1777, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  25. Engellandt, Axel & Riphahn, Regina T., 2003. "Temporary Contracts and Employee Effort," IZA Discussion Papers 780, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  26. Jean Kimmel & Karen Smith Conway, 1995. "Who Moonlights and Why?: Evidence from the SIPP," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 95-40, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  27. Griliches, Zvi & Mason, William M, 1972. "Education, Income, and Ability," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(3), pages S74-S103, Part II, .
  28. Susan Averett, 2001. "Moonlighting: multiple motives and gender differences," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(11), pages 1391-1410.
  29. Albaek, Karsten & Arai, Mahmood & Asplund, Rita & Barth, Erling & Strojer Madsen, Erik, 1998. "Measuring wage effects of plant size," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 425-448, December.
  30. Gary S. Becker, 1962. "Investment in Human Capital: A Theoretical Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 9.
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