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Do Firms Really Share Rents with Their Workers?

Author

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  • Margolis, David N.

    () (Paris School of Economics)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

Abstract

We use matched firm-worker panel data from France and Norway to consider observationally equivalent alternatives to the hypothesis that firms share product market rents with their workers in the form of higher wages. After documenting the main stylized facts, we find that neither the main statistical explanations (group effect in residuals and measurement error) nor sectoral shocks seem to be responsible for the observed correlation. Statistical-economic explanations (endogeneity of profits, omitted variable biases in terms of individual productive characteristics) are slightly more successful, as instrumentation reduces the significance level in France to 89% (via an increase in the standard error of the estimate). The most complete model, with unobserved heterogeneity in both time-invariant firm compensation policy and time-invariant individual characteristics, instrumental variables and a complete set of controls for worker observables and sectoral shocks renders the coefficient insignificant for France and weakens its significance for Norway and the presence of a more mobile labor force in France, although it may also be due to insufficient degrees of freedom.

Suggested Citation

  • Margolis, David N. & Salvanes, Kjell G., 2001. "Do Firms Really Share Rents with Their Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 330, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp330
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    9. Maloney, William F, 1999. "Does Informality Imply Segmentation in Urban Labor Markets? Evidence from Sectoral Transitions in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 13(2), pages 275-302, May.
    10. Heckman, James J & Sedlacek, Guilherme, 1985. "Heterogeneity, Aggregation, and Market Wage Functions: An Empirical Model of Self-selection in the Labor Market," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(6), pages 1077-1125, December.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Rent sharing; matched employer-employee panel data; international comparison;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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