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Do Foreign-Owned Firms Provide Better Working Conditions Than Their Domestic Counterparts? A Comparative Analysis

  • Hijzen, Alexander

    ()

    (OECD)

  • Martins, Pedro S.

    ()

    (Queen Mary, University of London)

  • Schank, Thorsten

    ()

    (University of Mainz)

  • Upward, Richard

    ()

    (University of Nottingham)

This paper analyses to what extent working conditions in foreign-owned firms differ from those in their domestic counterparts. It makes three main contributions. First, we replicate the consensus in the empirical literature by applying a standardised methodology to firm-level data for three developed (Germany, Portugal, UK) and two emerging economies (Brazil, Indonesia). We show that, consistent with previous evidence, foreign-owned firms offer substantially higher average wages than domestic firms and that this difference is particularly important in emerging economies. Second, we show that these positive wage effects of foreign takeovers reduce in size when controlling for changes in the composition of the workforce, although they tend to remain positive and statistically significant. However, the wage effects associated with worker movements from domestic to foreign firms are potentially important, particularly in emerging economies. Third, we look not only at wage outcomes but also consider other working conditions such as working hours, job stability and union coverage. We find that foreign takeovers of domestic firms tend to have a small positive effect on wages, but little effect on other aspects of working conditions.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5259.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as 'Foreign-owned firms around the world: A comparative analysis of wages and employment at the micro-level' in: European Economic Review, 2013, 60, 170-188
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5259
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  1. Heyman, Fredrik & Sjöholm, Fredrik & Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik, 2004. "Is There Really A Foreign Ownership Wage Premium?Evidence From Matched Employer-Employee Data," EIJS Working Paper Series 206, The European Institute of Japanese Studies.
  2. Pedro S. Martins, 2011. "Paying More To Hire The Best? Foreign Firms, Wages, And Worker Mobility," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 49(2), pages 349-363, 04.
  3. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
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  6. Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2002. "'Footloose' Multinationals?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3402, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Nikolaj Malchow-Møller & James R. Markusen & Bertel Schjerning, 2007. "Foreign Firms, Domestic Wages," NBER Working Papers 13001, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Lars Vilhuber, 2009. "Adjusting Imperfect Data: Overview and Case Studies," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure of Wages: An International Comparison, pages 59-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. 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.
  11. Pedro S. Martins, 2004. "Do Foreign Firms Really Pay Higher Wages? : Evidence from Different Estimators," CRIEFF Discussion Papers 0409, Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm.
  12. Rita Almeida, 2004. "The labor market effects of foreign-owned firms," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3300, The World Bank.
  13. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2006. "Evaluating the Foreign Ownership Wage Premium Using a Difference-in-Differences Matching Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5788, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  15. Hijzen, Alexander & Martins, Pedro S. & Schank, Thorsten & Upward, Richard, 2013. "Foreign-owned firms around the world: A comparative analysis of wages and employment at the micro-level," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 170-188.
  16. Lipsey, Robert E. & Sjoholm, Fredrik, 2004. "Foreign direct investment, education and wages in Indonesian manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 415-422, February.
  17. Glass, Amy Jocelyn & Saggi, Kamal, 2002. " Multinational Firms and Technology Transfer," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 104(4), pages 495-513, December.
  18. Francesca Fabbri & Jonathan E. Haskel & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2003. "Does Nationality Of Ownership Matter For Labor Demands?," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 698-707, 04/05.
  19. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Daniele Checchi & Alessandro Turrini, 2002. "Adjusting Labour Demand: Multinationals vs. National Firms: A Cross-European Analysis," Development Working Papers 168, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
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