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Working in family firms: less paid but more secure? Evidence from French matched employer-employee data

Author

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  • Andrea Bassanini

    () (ERMES - Equipe de recherche sur les marches, l'emploi et la simulation - UP2 - Université Panthéon-Assas - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Éducation nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, IZA - Institute for the Study of Labor - IZA, OECD - OECD)

  • Thomas Breda

    (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics)

  • Eve Caroli

    () (PSE - Paris-Jourdan Sciences Economiques - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - INRA - Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, PSE - Paris School of Economics, EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Antoine Rebérioux

    () (EconomiX - UPN - Université Paris Nanterre - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

Abstract

We study the compensation package offered by family firms. Using matched employer-employee data for a sample of French establishments in the 2000s, we first show that family firms pay on average lower wages to their workers. This family/non-family wage gap is robust to controlling for several establishment and individual characteristics and does not appear to be due either to the differential of productivity between family and non-family firms or to unobserved establishment and individual heterogeneity. Moreover, it is relatively homogeneous across workers with different gender, educational attainment and age. By contrast, the family/non-family wage gap is found to be larger for clerks and blue-collar workers than for managers, supervisors and technicians, for whom we find no significant wage gap. As a second step, we investigate why workers stay in family firms while being paid less. We show that these firms offer greater job security. We find evidence that the rate of dismissal is lower in family than in non-family firms. We also show that family firms rely less on dismissals and more on hiring reductions when they downsize. These results are confirmed by subjective data: the perceived risk of dismissal is significantly lower in family firms than in non-family ones. We speculate that our results can be explained either by a compensating wage differential story or by a model in which workers sort in different firms according to their preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Bassanini & Thomas Breda & Eve Caroli & Antoine Rebérioux, 2010. "Working in family firms: less paid but more secure? Evidence from French matched employer-employee data," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564972, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:psewpa:halshs-00564972 Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00564972
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrew Ellul & Marco Pagano & Fabiano Schivardi, 2014. "Employment and Wage Insurance within Firms - Worldwide Evidence," EIEF Working Papers Series 1402, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Sep 2017.
    2. Kölling, Arnd, 2016. "Family Firms and Labor Demand: Size Matters – But Only the Small Ones are Different," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145471, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Block, Jörn & Goerke, Laszlo & Millán, José María & Román, Concepción, 2014. "Family employees and absenteeism," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 94-99.
    4. Raffaela Giordano & Marcello Pericoli & Pietro Tommasino, 2013. "Pure or Wake-up-Call Contagion? Another Look at the EMU Sovereign Debt Crisis," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, pages 131-160.
    5. Bach, Laurent & Serrano-Velarde, Nicolas, 2015. "CEO identity and labor contracts: Evidence from CEO transitions," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 227-242.
    6. repec:zbw:imbwps:90 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Munkacsi, Zsuzsa, 2015. "Fiscal austerity, unemployment and family firms," Discussion Papers 06/2015, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Siebert, W. Stanley & Peng, Fei & Maimaiti, Yasheng, 2011. "HRM Practices and Performance of Family-Run Workplaces: Evidence from the 2004 WERS," IZA Discussion Papers 5899, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. D'Aurizio, Leandro & Oliviero, Tommaso & Romano, Livio, 2015. "Family firms, soft information and bank lending in a financial crisis," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 279-292.
    10. Backman, Mikaela & Palmberg, Johanna, 2015. "Contextualizing small family firms: How does the urban–rural context affect firm employment growth?," Journal of Family Business Strategy, Elsevier, pages 247-258.
    11. Andrea Bassanini & Thomas Breda & Eve Caroli & Antoine Rebérioux, 2010. "Working in family firms: less paid but more secure? Evidence from French matched employer-employee data," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564972, HAL.
    12. Bjuggren, Carl Magnus, 2015. "Sensitivity to shocks and implicit employment protection in family firms," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, pages 18-31.
    13. Ferrari, Filippo, 2013. "'The employees are all equal... but some are more equals than others'. Altruism, opportunism and discrimination in family SMEs," MPRA Paper 52391, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Proietti, Tommaso & Lütkepohl, Helmut, 2013. "Does the Box–Cox transformation help in forecasting macroeconomic time series?," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, pages 88-99.
    15. D'Aurizio, Leandro & Oliviero, Tommaso & Romano, Livio, 2015. "Family firms, soft information and bank lending in a financial crisis," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, pages 279-292.
    16. Kölling, Arnd, 2017. "Employment in family firms: Less but safe? Analyzing labor demand of German family firms with a treatment model for panel data," Working Papers 92, Berlin School of Economics and Law, Institute of Management Berlin (IMB).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    family firms; wages; job security; linked employer-employee data;

    JEL classification:

    • G34 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Mergers; Acquisitions; Restructuring; Corporate Governance
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship

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