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Establishment Age and Wages: Evidence from German Linked Employer-Employee Data

  • Kölling, Arnd

    ()

    (Berlin School of Economics and Law)

  • Schnabel, Claus

    ()

    (University of Erlangen-Nuremberg)

  • Wagner, Joachim

    ()

    (Leuphana University Lüneburg)

Research in wage differentials has a long tradition. Prominent reasons why people make more or less money in the labor market include personal characteristics of the employee (e.g., human capital or gender), job characteristics (working conditions demanding compensating wage differentials), and characteristics of the employer (e.g., industry or firm size). An emerging empirical literature suggests that one hitherto overlooked firm characteristic matters, too: Employers which are in business for a longer period of time tend to pay higher wages. Using a unique rich set of linked employer-employee data we present first empirical evidence on this firm age - wage nexus for Germany. We find that older firms pay on average higher wages for workers with the same broadly defined degree of formal qualification. This firm age differential vanishes after controlling for further worker characteristics and other firm characteristics besides age; if anything, younger firms pay more ceteris paribus. These results are in line with findings from a recent study by Brown and Medoff using U.S. data.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 679.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2002
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Beiträge zur Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung, 2005, 294, 81-99
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp679
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  1. Blanchflower, David G & Oswald, Andrew J, 1990. " The Wage Curve," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 92(2), pages 215-35.
    • David G. Blanchflower & Andrew J. Oswald, 1995. "The Wage Curve," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026202375x, June.
  2. Krueger, Alan B & Summers, Lawrence H, 1988. "Efficiency Wages and the Inter-industry Wage Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(2), pages 259-93, March.
  3. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 2003. "Firm Age and Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(3), pages 677-698, July.
  4. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "The analysis of labor markets using matched employer-employee data," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 40, pages 2629-2710 Elsevier.
  5. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
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