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Are Occupations Paid What They Are Worth? An Econometric Study of Occupational Wage Inequality and Productivity

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  • Kampelmann, Stephan

    () (Free University of Brussels)

  • Rycx, Francois

    () (Free University of Brussels)

Abstract

Labour economists typically assume that pay differences between occupations can be explained with variations in productivity. The empirical evidence on the validity of this assumption is surprisingly thin and subject to various potential biases. The authors use matched employer-employee panel data from Belgium for the years 1999-2006 to examine occupational productivity-wage gaps. They find that occupations play distinct roles for remuneration and productivity: while the estimations indicate a significant upward-sloping occupational wage-profile, the hypothesis of a flat productivity-profile cannot be rejected. The corresponding pattern of over- and underpayment stands up to a series of robustness tests.

Suggested Citation

  • Kampelmann, Stephan & Rycx, Francois, 2011. "Are Occupations Paid What They Are Worth? An Econometric Study of Occupational Wage Inequality and Productivity," IZA Discussion Papers 5951, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5951
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2016. "Wage discrimination against immigrants: measurement with firm-level productivity data," IZA Journal of Migration, Springer;Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit GmbH (IZA), vol. 5(1), pages 1-24, December.
    2. Andrea Garnero & Stephan Kampelmann & François Rycx, 2013. "Part-time Work, Wages and Productivity:Evidence from Belgian Matched Panel Data," DULBEA Working Papers 13-08, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    3. François Rycx & Yves Saks & Ilan Tojerow, 2015. "Does Education Raise Productivity and Wages Equally? The Moderating Roles of Age, Gender and Industry," Working Paper Research 281, National Bank of Belgium.
    4. repec:spr:izalbr:v:7:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1186_s40172-017-0061-4 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Liis Roosaar & Jaan Masso & Urmas Varblane, 2017. "The Structural Change And Labour Productivity Of Firms: Do Changes In The Age And Wage Structure Of Employees Matter?," University of Tartu - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Working Paper Series 103, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu (Estonia).
    6. Kampelmann, Stephan & Mahy, Benoît & Rycx, Francois & Vermeylen, Guillaume, 2016. "Who Is Your Perfect Match? Educational Norms, Educational Mismatch and Firm Profitability," IZA Discussion Papers 10399, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. Maliranta, Mika, 2013. "Globalization, occupational restructuring and firm performance," ETLA Working Papers 5, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    labour productivity; wages; occupations; production function; matched employer-employee data;

    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
    • J44 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Particular Labor Markets - - - Professional Labor Markets and Occupations

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