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The Relative Importance of Employer and Employee Effects on Compensation: A Comparison of France and the United States

Author

Listed:
  • John M. Abowd

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Department of Labor Economics - Cornell University [New York])

  • Francis Kramarz

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • David Margolis

    (CREST - Centre de Recherche en Économie et Statistique - ENSAI - Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Analyse de l'Information [Bruz] - X - École polytechnique - ENSAE Paris - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, TEAM - Théories et Applications en Microéconomie et Macroéconomie - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Kenneth R. Troske

    (Department of Economics - Mizzou - University of Missouri [Columbia] - University of Missouri System)

Abstract

Using individual data on compensation, matched with establishment and firm data on performance and inputs, we compare the French and American pay systems. The compensation measures are decomposed into components related to measured individual characteristics, establishment–enterprise effects, and a residual. In France, the compensation outcomes are more compressed than in the United States. For France, individual characteristics and establishment effects explain more of the variability in compensation outcomes than in the United States. The observable and unobservable components of compensation are identically correlated in the two countries. The relations among compensation components (individual and establishment) and firm performance outcomes (value-added per worker, sales per worker, and profit per unit of capital) exhibit some important similarities and differences between the countries. Higher paid workers, either because of individual characteristics or establishment effects, are employed in firms that are more productive. Higher pay due to enterprise heterogeneity is associated with higher profitability in France but lower profitability in the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David Margolis & Kenneth R. Troske, 2001. "The Relative Importance of Employer and Employee Effects on Compensation: A Comparison of France and the United States," Post-Print halshs-00353821, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00353821
    DOI: 10.1006/jjie.2001.0475
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00353821
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Kenneth R. Troske, 1998. "The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database," NBER Chapters, in: Labor Statistics Measurement Issues, pages 371-404, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
    3. John Haltiwanger & Marilyn E. Manser & Robert Topel, 1998. "Labor Statistics Measurement Issues," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number halt98-1.
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    5. Kimberly Bayard & Judith Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth Troske, 2003. "New Evidence on Sex Segregation and Sex Differences in Wages from Matched Employee-Employer Data," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(4), pages 887-922, October.
    6. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710, Elsevier.
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    8. Harold Hotelling, 1932. "Edgeworth's Taxation Paradox and the Nature of Demand and Supply Functions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40, pages 577-577.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Employee Effects on Compensation;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory

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