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The Effects of Foreign Owned Firms on the Labor Market

  • Almeida, Rita K.

    ()

    (World Bank)

Cross sectional evidence shows that foreign firms have a more educated workforce and pay higher wages than domestic firms. These results do not necessarily imply that foreign direct investment translates into higher demand for educated workers or higher wages, however, since foreign investment may be guided by unobservable firm-characteristics correlated with the demand for educated workers or wages. Using firm-level panel data for Portugal, I seek to isolate the effect of foreign direct investment on the demand for educated workers and wages by observing labor demand and wages of different education groups before and after the foreign acquisition. I find that foreigners 'cherry pick' domestic firms to be acquired, choosing those firms with a more educated workforce. Moreover, these firms are already very similar to the group of existing foreign firms and, following the foreign acquisition, there are no significant changes in the workforce educational composition. There is evidence that average wages increase following the foreign acquisition but changes are smaller than in cross sectional estimates.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 785.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Journal of International Economics, 2007, 72 (1), 75-96
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp785
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  1. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
  2. JosÈ Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2004. "Patterns of Entry, Post-Entry Growth and Survival: A Comparison Between Domestic and Foreign Owned Firms," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3_4), pages 283-298, 04.
  3. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz & David N. Margolis, 1999. "High Wage Workers and High Wage Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(2), pages 251-334, March.
  4. Charles Brown & James L. Medoff, 1987. "The Impact of Firm Acquisitions on Labor," NBER Working Papers 2273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Louis S. Jacobson & Robert J. LaLonde & Daniel G. Sullivan, 1992. "Earnings losses of displaced workers," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Zadia Feliciano & Robert E. Lipsey, 1999. "Foreign Ownership and Wages in the United States, 1987 - 1992," NBER Working Papers 6923, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ann E. Harrison & Brian J. Aitken, 1999. "Do Domestic Firms Benefit from Direct Foreign Investment? Evidence from Venezuela," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 605-618, June.
  8. Conyon, Martin J, et al, 2002. "The Productivity and Wage Effects of Foreign Acquisition in the United Kingdom," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(1), pages 85-102, March.
  9. Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric & Walsh, Frank, 2007. "Why Do Foreign-Owned Firms Pay More? The Role of On-the-Job Training," CEPR Discussion Papers 6171, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Girma, Sourafel & Görg, Holger, 2001. "Blessing or Curse? Domestic Plants' Survival and Employment Prospects After Foreign Acquisition," CEPR Discussion Papers 2994, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Bruce D. Meyer, 1994. "Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics," NBER Technical Working Papers 0170, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Jonathan E. Haskel & Sonia C. Pereira & Matthew J. Slaughter, 2007. "Does Inward Foreign Direct Investment Boost the Productivity of Domestic Firms?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 482-496, August.
  13. Daniel S. Hamermesh, 1999. "The Art of Labormetrics," NBER Working Papers 6927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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