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High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms

Author

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  • 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 ParisTech - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Department of Labor Economics - Cornell University)

  • 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 ParisTech - 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 ParisTech - 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)

Abstract

We study a longitudinal sample of over one million French workers from more than five hundred thousand employing firms. We decompose real total annual compensation per worker into components related to observable employee characteristics, personal heterogeneity, firm heterogeneity, and residual variation. Except for the residual, all components may be correlated in an arbitrary fashion. At the level of the individual, we find that person effects, especially those not related to observables like education, are a very important source of wage variation in France. Firm effects, while important, are not as important as person effects. At the level of firms, we find that enterprises that hire high-wage workers are more productive but not more profitable. They are also more capital and high-skilled employee intensive. Enterprises that pay higher wages, controlling for person effects, are more productive and more profitable. They are also more capital intensive but are not more high-skilled labor intensive. We find that person effects explain about 90% of inter-industry wage differentials and about 75% of the firm-size wage effect while firm effects explain relatively little of either differential.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Post-Print halshs-00353892, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:halshs-00353892
    DOI: 10.1111/1468-0262.00020
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00353892
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Wage determination • person effects • firm effects • inter-industry wage differentials • heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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