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Wages and the risk of displacement

  • Carneiro, Anabela
  • Portugal, Pedro

In this paper a simultaneous-equations model of firm closing and wage determination is specified in order to analyse how wages adjust to unfavorable product demand shocks that raise the risk of displacement through firm closing, and to what extent an exogenous wage change affects the exit likelihood. Using a longitudinal matched worker-firm data set from Portugal, the estimation results suggest that, under the existence of noncompetitive rents, the fear of job loss leads workers to accept wage concessions, even though a compensating differential for the ex ante risk of displacement might exist. A novel result that emerges from this study is that firms with a higher incidence of minimum wage earners are more vulnerable to adverse shocks due to their inability to adjust wages downward. Indeed, minimum wage restrictions were seen to increase the failure rates. JEL Classification: J31, J65

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1159.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101159
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  1. J. Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2002. "The Deaths of Manufacturing Plants," Working Papers 02-15, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  2. David G. Blanchflower, 1990. "Fear, Unemployment and Pay Flexibility," NBER Working Papers 3365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Murphy, Kevin M & Topel, Robert H, 1985. "Estimation and Inference in Two-Step Econometric Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 3(4), pages 370-79, October.
  4. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings Losses of Displaced Workers," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 92-11, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  5. Harris, R. I. D. & Hassaszadeh, P., 2002. "The impact of ownership changes and age effects on plant exits in UK manufacturing, 1974-1995," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 309-317, May.
  6. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  7. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  8. repec:fth:inseep:9904 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
  10. Guimaraes, Paulo & Mata, José & Portugal, Pedro, 1995. "The Survival of New Plants: Start-up Conditions and Post-entry Evolution," CEPR Discussion Papers 1203, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Kumar, M S, 1985. "Growth, Acquisition Activity and Firm Size: Evidence from the United Kingdom," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 327-38, March.
  12. Bronwyn H. Hall, 1986. "The Relationship Between Firm Size and Firm Growth in the U.S. Manufacturing Sector," NBER Working Papers 1965, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. John T. Addison & Lutz Bellmann & Arnd Kölling, 2004. "Works Councils and Plant Closings in Germany," British Journal of Industrial Relations, London School of Economics, vol. 42(1), pages 125-148, 03.
  14. Cooper, Arnold C. & Gimeno-Gascon, F. Javier & Woo, Carolyn Y., 1994. "Initial human and financial capital as predictors of new venture performance," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 9(5), pages 371-395, September.
  15. José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2001. "The Survival of New Domestic and Foreign Owned Firms," Working Papers w200101, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  16. Mark E. Doms & J . Bradford Jensen, 1998. "Comparing Wages, Skills, and Productivity between Domestically and Foreign-Owned Manufacturing Establishments in the United States," NBER Chapters, in: Geography and Ownership as Bases for Economic Accounting, pages 235-258 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Mata, Jose & Portugal, Pedro, 1994. "Life Duration of New Firms," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 42(3), pages 227-45, September.
  18. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1988. "Plant Closings and the Value of the Firm," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(4), pages 580-86, November.
  19. David Margolis, 1999. "Part-Year Employment, Slow Reemployment and Earnings Losses : The Case of Worker Displacement in France," Working Papers 99-04, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  20. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, June.
  21. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J., 1990. "Wages And The Risk Of Plant Closing," Papers 6-90-2, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  22. David Margolis, 2000. "Worker Displacement in France," Working Papers 2000-01, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  23. Stevens, Ann Huff, 1997. "Persistent Effects of Job Displacement: The Importance of Multiple Job Losses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages 165-88, January.
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