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The Returns to Seniority in France (and Why Are They Lower than in the United States?)

Author

Listed:
  • Beffy, Magali

    () (CREST-INSEE)

  • Buchinsky, Moshe

    () (University of California, Los Angeles)

  • Fougère, Denis

    () (Sciences Po, Paris)

  • Kamionka, Thierry

    () (CREST-INSEE)

  • Kramarz, Francis

    () (CREST (ENSAE))

Abstract

We estimate a model of the joint participation and mobility along with the individuals' wage formation in France. Our model makes it possible to distinguish between unobserved person heterogeneity and state-dependence. We estimate the model using state of the art bayesian methods employing a long panel (1976-1995) for France. Our results clearly show that returns to seniority are small, and for some education groups are close to zero. The specification here is the same as that used in Buchinsky, Fougère, Kramarz and Tchernis (2002), where the returns to seniority were found to be quite large. This result also holds when using the method employed by Altonji and Williams (1992) for both countries. It turns out that differences between the two countries relate to firm-to-firm mobility. Using a model of Burdett and Coles (2003), we explain the rationale for this phenomenon. Specifically, in a low-mobility country such as France, there is little gain in compensating workers for long tenures because they tend to stay in the firm for most, if not all, of their career. This is true even in cases where individuals clearly possess substantial amount of firm-specific human capital. In contrast, for a high-mobility country such as the United States, high returns to seniority have a clear incentive effect, and firms are induced to pay the premium associated with firm-specific human capital to avoid losing their most productive workers.

Suggested Citation

  • Beffy, Magali & Buchinsky, Moshe & Fougère, Denis & Kamionka, Thierry & Kramarz, Francis, 2006. "The Returns to Seniority in France (and Why Are They Lower than in the United States?)," IZA Discussion Papers 1935, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1935
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1984. "Matching, Turnover, and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(1), pages 108-122, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2009. "Caught in the Trap? The Disincentive Effect of Social Assistance," IRISS Working Paper Series 2009-10, IRISS at CEPS/INSTEAD.
    2. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2013. "Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France," IZA Discussion Papers 7508, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Sabrina Di Addario & Eleonora Patacchini, 2006. "Is there an urban wage premium in Italy?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 570, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Denis Fougère, 2011. "Social and Labor Market Integration of Ethnic Minorities in France: Has the French Integration Model Broken Down?," Chapters,in: Ethnic Diversity in European Labor Markets, chapter 5 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Shintaro Yamaguchi, 2010. "Job Search, Bargaining, and Wage Dynamics," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(3), pages 595-631, July.
    6. Hospido, Laura, 2015. "Wage dynamics in the presence of unobserved individual and job heterogeneity," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 81-93.
    7. Ioana Marinescu & Margaret Triyana, 2016. "The sources of wage growth in a developing country," IZA Journal of Labor & Development, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-43, December.
    8. Giovanni Sulis, 2014. "Wage Returns to Experience and Tenure for Young Men in Italy," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 61(5), pages 559-588, November.
    9. Olivier Goudet & Gérard Ballot & Jean-Daniel Kant, 2015. "How to choose a contract type in the French Labor Market : an agent-based model," Post-Print hal-01512938, HAL.
    10. Sabrina Di Addario & Eleonora Patacchini, 2005. "Wages and the City. The Italian case," Economics Series Working Papers 243, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    participation; wage; job mobility; returns to seniority; returns to experience; individual effects;

    JEL classification:

    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs

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