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A distributional framework for matched employer employee data


  • Bonhomme, Stéphane

    (University of Chicago)

  • Lamadon, Thibaut

    (University of Chicago)

  • Manresa, Elena

    (New York University)


We propose a framework to identify and estimate earnings distributions and worker composition on matched panel data, allowing for two-sided worker-firm unobserved heterogeneity. We introduce two models: a static model that allows for nonlinear interactions between workers and firms, and a dynamic model that allows in addition for Markovian earnings dynamics and endogenous mobility. We establish identi cation in short panels, and develop tractable two-step estimators where firms are classified into heterogeneous classes in a first step. Applying our method to Swedish administrative data, we find that log-earnings are approximately additive in worker and firm heterogeneity, with a strong association between workers and firms, and a small relative contribution of firm heterogeneity to earnings dispersion. In addition, we document that wages have a direct effect on mobility, and that, beyond their dependence on the current firm, earnings after a job move also depend on the past firm.

Suggested Citation

  • Bonhomme, Stéphane & Lamadon, Thibaut & Manresa, Elena, 2017. "A distributional framework for matched employer employee data," Working Paper Series 2017:24, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:ifauwp:2017_024

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    two-sided heterogeneity; bipartite networks; matched employer employee data; sorting; job mobility;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J62 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Job, Occupational and Intergenerational Mobility; Promotion

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