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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
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20101182
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  2. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pd, Sciences Po.
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  4. M. Druant & S. Fabiani & Gabor Kezdi & Ana Lamo & Fernando Martins & R. Sabbatini, 2009. "How are Firms’ Wages and Prices Linked: Survey Evidence in Europe," Working Papers w200918, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  5. Du Caju, Ph. & Gautier, E. & Momferatou, D. & Ward-Warmedinger, M., 2008. "Institutional features of wage bargaining in 23 European countries, the US and Japan," Working papers 228, Banque de France.
  6. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00353892, HAL.
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  9. Robert Gibbons & Lawrence Katz, 1992. "Does Unmeasured Ability Explain Inter-Industry Wage Differentials?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 59(3), pages 515-535.
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  11. Philip Du Caju & François Ryckx & Ilan Tojerow, 2009. "Inter-industry wage differentials : How much does rent sharing matter ?," Working Paper Research 180, National Bank of Belgium.
  12. Alan B. Krueger & Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Reflections on the Inter-Industry Wage Structure," NBER Working Papers 1968, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
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  21. 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.
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