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Inter-industry wage differentials in EU countries: what do cross-country time varying data add to the picture?

  • Du Caju, Philip
  • Kátay, Gábor
  • Lamo, Ana
  • Nicolitsas, Daphne
  • Poelhekke, Steven

This paper documents the existence and main patterns of inter-industry wage differentials across a large number of industries for 8 EU countries (Belgium, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, and Spain) at two points in time (in general 1995 and 2002) and explores possible explanations for these patterns. The analysis uses the European Structure of Earnings Survey (SES), an internationally harmonised matched employer-employee dataset, to estimate inter-industry wage differentials conditional on a rich set of employee, employer and job characteristics. After investigating the possibility that unobservable employee characteristics lie behind the conditional wage differentials, a hypothesis which cannot be accepted, the paper investigates the role of institutional, industry structure and industry performance characteristics in explaining inter-industry wage differentials. The results suggest that inter-industry wage differentials are consistent with rent sharing mechanisms and that rent sharing is more likely in industries with firm-level collective agreements and with higher collective agreement coverage. JEL Classification: J31, J41, J51

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 1182.

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Date of creation: Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101182
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  1. Philip Ducaju & Erwan Gautier & Daphné Momferatou & Mélanie Ward-Warmedinge, 2008. "Institutional features of wage bargaining in 23 European countries, the US and Japan," Working Paper Research 154, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
  3. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence F. Katz & Thomas Lemieux & Daniel Parent, 2002. "Comparative Advantage, Learning, and Sectoral Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 8889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2011. "Inter‐Industry Wage Differentials: How Much Does Rent Sharing Matter?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 79(4), pages 691-717, 07.
  5. Richard Freeman, 2008. "Labor Market Institutions Around the World," CEP Discussion Papers dp0844, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Martine Druant & Silvia Fabiani & Gabor Kezdig & Ana Lamo & Fernando Martins & Roberto Sabbatini, 2009. "How are firms' wages and prices linked: survey evidence in Europe," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 725, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  7. Iga Magda & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow & Daphné Valsamis, 2009. "Wage differentials across sectors in Europe: an east-west comparison," Working Papers CEB 09-003.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  8. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  9. Luisa Zanchi, . "Cross-Country Comparisons of the Inter-Industry Wage Structure: Empirical Evidence with the ‘Luxembourg Income Study' Data-Bank," Discussion Papers 95/18, Department of Economics, University of York.
  10. repec:inr:wpaper:155908 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Erkan Erdil & I. Hakan Yetkiner, 2001. "A comparative analysis of inter-industry wage differentials: industrialized versus developing countries," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(13), pages 1639-1648.
  12. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 515-35, July.
  13. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1994. "High-Wage Workers and High-Wage Firms," CIRANO Working Papers 94s-23, CIRANO.
  14. Gittleman, Maury & Wolff, Edward N, 1993. "International Comparisons of Inter-industry Wage Differentials," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 39(3), pages 295-312, September.
  15. Alan Carruth & William Collier & Andy Dickerson, 2004. "Inter-industry Wage Differences and Individual Heterogeneity," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(5), pages 811-846, December.
  16. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 1999. "Persistence of Interindustry Wage Differentials: A Reexamination Using Matched Worker-Firm Panel Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 17(3), pages 492-533, July.
  18. Kevin Reilly & Luisa Zanchi, 2002. "Industry Wage Differentials: How Many, Big and Significant Are They?," Labor and Demography 0209001, EconWPA.
  19. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Industry wage premia: evidence from the wage distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 157-163, May.
  20. Rebekka Christopoulou & Philip Vermeulen, 2012. "Markups in the Euro area and the US over the period 1981–2004: a comparison of 50 sectors," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 42(1), pages 53-77, February.
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