IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Wages and Seniority When Coworkers Matter: Estimating a Joint Production Economy Using Norwegian Administrative Data


  • Ferrall, Christopher

    () (Queen's University)

  • Salvanes, Kjell G.

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Sørensen, Erik Ø.

    () (Norwegian School of Economics)


We develop an equilibrium model of wages and estimate it using administrative data from Norway. Coworkers interact through a task­-assignment model, and wages are determined through multi­lateral bargaining over the surplus that accrues to the workforce. Seniority affects wages through workplace output and relative bargaining power. These channels are separately identified by imposing equilibrium restrictions on data observing all workers within workplaces. We find joint production is important. Seniority affects bargaining power but is unproductive. We reinterpret gender and firm­-size effects in wages in light of the rejection of linearly separable production.

Suggested Citation

  • Ferrall, Christopher & Salvanes, Kjell G. & Sørensen, Erik Ø., 2009. "Wages and Seniority When Coworkers Matter: Estimating a Joint Production Economy Using Norwegian Administrative Data," IZA Discussion Papers 4130, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4130

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Canice Prendergast, 1999. "The Provision of Incentives in Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(1), pages 7-63, March.
    2. Christian Dustmann & Costas Meghir, 2005. "Wages, Experience and Seniority," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 77-108.
    3. Sattinger, Michael, 1993. "Assignment Models of the Distribution of Earnings," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(2), pages 831-880, June.
    4. Nash, John, 1950. "The Bargaining Problem," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 18(2), pages 155-162, April.
    5. I. Sebastian Buhai & Miguel A. Portela & Coen N. Teulings & Aico van Vuuren, 2014. "Returns to Tenure or Seniority?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 82(2), pages 705-730, March.
    6. Fabien Postel-Vinay & Jean-Marc Robin, 2002. "Equilibrium Wage Dispersion with Worker and Employer Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(6), pages 2295-2350, November.
    7. John H. Boyd & Edward C. Prescott & Bruce D. Smith, 1988. "Organizations in Economic Analysis," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 477-491, August.
    8. Robert M. Costrell & Glenn C. Loury, 2004. "Distribution of Ability and Earnings in a Hierarchical Job Assignment Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(6), pages 1322-1363, December.
    9. Galindo-Rueda, Fernando & Haskel, Jonathan, 2005. "Skills, Workforce Characteristics and Firm-Level Productivity: Evidence from the Matched ABI/Employer Skills Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Lars A. Stole & Jeffrey Zwiebel, 1996. "Intra-firm Bargaining under Non-binding Contracts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(3), pages 375-410.
    11. Milgrom, Paul & Shannon, Chris, 1994. "Monotone Comparative Statics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(1), pages 157-180, January.
    12. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-846, July-Aug..
    13. Burdett, Kenneth & Mortensen, Dale T, 1998. "Wage Differentials, Employer Size, and Unemployment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(2), pages 257-273, May.
    14. Joseph G. Altonji & Nicolas Williams, 2005. "Do Wages Rise with Job Seniority? A Reassessment," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 58(3), pages 370-397, April.
    15. Teulings, Coen N, 1995. "The Wage Distribution in a Model of the Assignment of Skills to Jobs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(2), pages 280-315, April.
    16. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
    17. Lensberg, Terje, 1988. "Stability and the Nash solution," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 45(2), pages 330-341, August.
    18. Hutchens, Robert M, 1989. "Seniority, Wages and Productivity: A Turbulent Decade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(4), pages 49-64, Fall.
    19. Vijay Krishna & Roberto Serrano, 1996. "Multilateral Bargaining," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 61-80.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Elena Pastorino, 2013. "Job matching within and across firms," Staff Report 482, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    2. Jeremy T. Fox, 2009. "Firm-Size Wage Gaps, Job Responsibility, and Hierarchical Matching," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 83-126, January.

    More about this item


    multilateral bargaining; matched data; productivity; wage distributions; assignment models;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • J7 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4130. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.