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Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data




In this paper I use data on workers matched whit firms balance-sheet reports to examine the relation between wages and firms´ ability to pay. Results indicate that experienced and highly educated workers are sorted into profitable firms. Wages are significantly correlated to profits and capital-labor ratio, after controlling for workers quality (observed characteristics as well as time-invariant individual effects), job characteristics, local unemployment, firms´ employment history and employer size. These are mainly within industry effects attributed to wage determination at the firm-level. The conclusion is that previous studies based on industry data substantially underestimate the impacts of profits on wages.

Suggested Citation

  • Arai, Mahmood, 1999. "Wages, Profits and Capital Intensity: Evidence from Matched Worker-Firm Data," Research Papers in Economics 1999:3, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:sunrpe:1999_0003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. George A. Akerlof & Janet L. Yellen, 1990. "The Fair Wage-Effort Hypothesis and Unemployment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(2), pages 255-283.
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    4. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, July.
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    6. Albaek, Karsten & Arai, Mahmood & Asplund, Rita & Barth, Erling & Strojer Madsen, Erik, 1998. "Measuring wage effects of plant size," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(4), pages 425-448, December.
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    8. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J & Garrett, Mario D, 1990. "Insider Power in Wage Determination," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(226), pages 143-170, May.
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    13. Agell, Jonas & Lundborg, Per, 1995. " Theories of Pay and Unemployment: Survey Evidence from Swedish Manufacturing Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 97(2), pages 295-307, June.
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    More about this item


    wages; profits; capital intensity; rent-sharing;

    JEL classification:

    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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