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Firms and labor market inequality : evidence and some theory

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  • Card, David
  • Cardoso, Ana Rute
  • Heining, Jörg

    () (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])

  • Kline, Patrick

Abstract

"We review the literature on firm-level drivers of labor market inequality. There is strong evidence from a variety of fields that standard measures of productivity - like output per worker or total factor productivity - vary substantially across firms, even within narrowly-defined industries. Several recent studies note that rising trends in the dispersion of productivity across firms mirror the trends in the wage inequality across workers. Two distinct literatures have searched for a more direct link between these two phenomena. The first examines how wages are affected by differences in employer productivity. Studies that focus on firm-specific productivity shocks and control for the non-random sorting of workers to more and less productive firms typically find that a 10% increase in value-added per worker leads to somewhere between a 0.5% and 1.5% increase in wages. A second literature focuses on firm-specific wage premiums, using the wage outcomes of job changers. This literature also concludes that firm pay setting is important for wage inequality, with many studies finding that firm wage effects contribute approximately 20% of the overall variance of wages. To interpret these findings, we develop a model where workplace environments are viewed as imperfect substitutes by workers, and firms set wages with some degree of market power. We show that simple versions of this model can readily match the stylized empirical findings in the literature regarding rent-sharing elasticities and the structure of firm-specific pay premiums." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))

Suggested Citation

  • Card, David & Cardoso, Ana Rute & Heining, Jörg & Kline, Patrick, 2016. "Firms and labor market inequality : evidence and some theory," IAB Discussion Paper 201619, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
  • Handle: RePEc:iab:iabdpa:201619
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    1. Firms and labor market inequality: Evidence and some theory
      by maximorossi in NEP-LTV blog on 2016-07-20 17:29:55

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    2. Albrecht, James & Bronson, Mary Ann & Thoursie, Peter Skogman & Vroman, Susan, 2018. "The career dynamics of high-skilled women and men: Evidence from Sweden," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 83-102.
    3. Daniel Schaefer & Carl Singleton, 2017. "Recent Changes in British Wage Inequality: Evidence from Firms and Occupations," 2017 Meeting Papers 459, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Jewell, Sarah & Razzu, Giovanni & Singleton, Carl, 2018. "Who works for whom and the UK gender pay gap?," MPRA Paper 87191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Azar, José & Marinescu, Ioana E. & Steinbaum, Marshall & Taska, Bledi, 2018. "Concentration in US Labor Markets: Evidence from Online Vacancy Data," IZA Discussion Papers 11379, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Boris Hirsch & Steffen Müller, 2018. "Firm Wage Premia, Industrial Relations, and Rent Sharing in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 6890, CESifo Group Munich.
    7. Giuseppe Berlingieri & Sara Calligaris & Chiara Criscuolo, 2018. "The productivity-wage premium: Does size still matter in a service economy?," OECD Science, Technology and Industry Working Papers 2018/13, OECD Publishing.
    8. John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2018. "Who Moves Up the Job Ladder?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 36(S1), pages 301-336.
      • John Haltiwanger & Henry Hyatt & Erika McEntarfer, 2015. "Who Moves Up the Job Ladder?," NBER Chapters,in: Firms and the Distribution of Income: The Roles of Productivity and Luck National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jeffrey Clemens & Lisa B. Kahn & Jonathan Meer, 2018. "The Minimum Wage, Fringe Benefits, and Worker Welfare," NBER Working Papers 24635, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Patrick Kline & Raffaele Saggio & Mikkel S{o}lvsten, 2018. "Leave-out estimation of variance components," Papers 1806.01494, arXiv.org.
    11. Ben Sand & Chris Bidner, 2016. "Job Prospects and Pay Gaps: Theory and Evidence on the Gender Gap from U.S. Cities," Discussion Papers dp16-14, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
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    14. Eliason, Marcus & Hensvik, Lena & Kramarz, Francis & Nordström Skans, Oskar, 2017. "The causal impact of social Connections on firms' outcomes," Working Paper Series 2017:11, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
    15. Emilien Gouin-Bonenfant, 2018. "Productivity Dispersion, Between-firm Competition and the Labor Share," 2018 Meeting Papers 1171, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Dögüs, Ilhan, 2017. "Rising wage dispersion between white-collar and blue-collar workers and market concentration: The case of the USA, 1966-2011," Discussion Papers 62, University of Hamburg, Centre for Economic and Sociological Studies (CESS/ZÖSS).
    17. José Azar & Ioana Marinescu & Marshall I. Steinbaum, 2017. "Labor Market Concentration," NBER Working Papers 24147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Unternehmen; Produktivitätsunterschied; Lohnunterschied; Einkommenseffekte; abhängig Beschäftigte; Wertschöpfung; Arbeitsplatzwechsel; zwischenbetriebliche Mobilität; Lohnfindung; Betrieb; Lohntheorie; Gewinnbeteiligung; qualifikationsspezifische Faktoren;

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J42 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets

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