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Do Foreign Firms Really Pay Higher Wages? Evidence from Different Estimators

  • Martins, Pedro S.

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

We contribute to the literature on Foreign Direct Investment and labour markets by examining wage differentials between domestic and foreign firms, drawing on a large Portuguese matched employer-employee panel. Using OLS, the foreign-firm premium is large and significantly positive but falls substantially when firm and worker controls are added. Moreover, the premium also does not vary monotonically with foreign control, it increases along the wage distribution and it is generally insignificant when using propensity score matching. Finally, using differences-in-differences, we find lower wage growth for workers in domestic firms that are acquired by foreign investors, a result that holds when combining differences-in-differences and propensity score matching. Overall, our evidence suggests that the commonly-documented OLS premium cannot be interpreted as a causal impact.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1388.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2004
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1388
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  1. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 2001. "Characteristics of foreign-owned firms in British manufacturing," IFS Working Papers W01/10, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2002. "Why Do Foreign-Owned Firms Pay More? The Role of On-the-Job Training," IZA Discussion Papers 590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989. "The Employer Size-Wage Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
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  7. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  8. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
  9. Lichtenberg, Frank R & Siegel, Donald, 1990. "The Effect of Ownership Changes on the Employment and Wages of Central Office and Other Personnel," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 383-408, October.
  10. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
  11. Pedro S. Martins, 2004. "Rent Sharing Before and After the Wage Bill," Discussion Paper Series, Department of Economics 200405, Department of Economics, University of St. Andrews.
  12. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony, 1996. "The role of multinational firms in the wage-gap debate," Discussion Papers, Series II 322, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  13. Robert E. Lipsey & Fredrik Sjoholm, 2001. "Foreign Direct Investment and Wages in Indonesian Manufacturing," NBER Working Papers 8299, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Conyon, Martin J, et al, 2002. "The Productivity and Wage Effects of Foreign Acquisition in the United Kingdom," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 85-102, March.
  15. Pedro Martins, 2005. "The Inter-Industry Wage Structure of U.S. Multinationals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
  16. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl, 2003. ""Footloose" Multinationals?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(1), pages 1-19, January.
  17. Portugal, Pedro & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2002. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," IZA Discussion Papers 544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  21. Pedro S. Martins, 2007. "Rent sharing and wages," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 23-31.
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  24. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  25. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Industry wage premia: evidence from the wage distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 157-163, May.
  26. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Dirk Willem te Velde, 2003. "Do Workers in Africa Get a Wage Premium if Employed in Firms Owned by Foreigners?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(1), pages 41-73, March.
  28. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  29. Holger Görg & David Greenaway, 2004. "Much Ado about Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 171-197.
  30. Almeida, Rita K., 3/05. "The Effects of Foreign Owned Firms on the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 785, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  33. José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2001. "The Survival of New Domestic and Foreign Owned Firms," Working Papers w200101, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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