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Wage Policy of Firms: an Empirical Investigation

  • LLUIS, Stéphanie

This paper analyzes the dynamics of wages and workers' mobility within firms with a hierarchical structure of job levels. The theoretical model proposed by Gibbons and Waldman (1999), that combines the notions of human capital accumulation, job rank assignments based on comparative advantage and learning about workers' abilities, is implemented empirically to measure the importance of these elements in explaining the wage policy of firms. Survey data from the GSOEP (German Socio-Economic Panel) are used to draw conclusions on the common features characterizing the wage policy of firms from a large sample of firms. The GSOEP survey also provides information on the worker's rank within his firm which is usually not available in other surveys. The results are consistent with non-random selection of workers onto the rungs of a job ladder. There is no direct evidence of learning about workers' unobserved abilities but the analysis reveals that unmeasured ability is an important factor driving wage dynamics. Finally, job rank effects remain significant even after controlling for measured and unmeasured characteristics.

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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2001-18.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2001-18
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  1. Beaudry, Paul & DiNardo, John, 1991. "The Effect of Implicit Contracts on the Movement of Wages over the Business Cycle: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(4), pages 665-88, August.
  2. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1981. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Altonji, Joseph G & Segal, Lewis M, 1996. "Small-Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 353-66, July.
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  6. Baker, Michael, 1997. "Growth-Rate Heterogeneity and the Covariance Structure of Life-Cycle Earnings," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(2), pages 338-75, April.
  7. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-64, October.
  8. Parent, D., 1995. "Matching, Human capital, and the Covariance Structure of Earnings," Cahiers de recherche 9509, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  9. Robert H. Topel & Michael P. Ward, 1988. "Job Mobility and the Careers of Young Men," NBER Working Papers 2649, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  11. Henry S. Farber & Robert Gibbons, 1994. "Learning and Wage Dynamics," Working Papers 707, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Efficiency Wage Theories: A Partial Evaluation," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 235-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hause, John C, 1980. "The Fine Structure of Earnings and the On-the-Job Training Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 1013-29, May.
  14. Sam Peltzman, 2000. "Prices Rise Faster than They Fall," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(3), pages 466-502, June.
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  16. Edward P. Lazear, 2001. "The Peter Principle: Promotions and Declining Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8094, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Robert Gibbons & Michael Waldman, 1998. "A Theory of Wage and Promotion Dynamics in Internal Labor Markets," NBER Working Papers 6454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Robert Gibbons, 1996. "Incentives and Careers in Organizations," NBER Working Papers 5705, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Murphy, Kevin J., 1985. "Corporate performance and managerial remuneration : An empirical analysis," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1-3), pages 11-42, April.
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  22. Holtz-Eakin, Douglas & Newey, Whitney & Rosen, Harvey S, 1988. "Estimating Vector Autoregressions with Panel Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(6), pages 1371-95, November.
  23. Gary S. Becker, 1975. "Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis, with Special Reference to Education, Second Edition," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number beck75-1, December.
  24. Pierre-Andre Chiappori & Bernard Salanie & Julie Valentin, 1999. "Early Starters versus Late Beginners," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(4), pages 731-760, August.
  25. Lemieux, Thomas, 1998. "Estimating the Effects of Unions on Wage Inequality in a Panel Data Model with Comparative Advantage and Nonrandom Selection," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(2), pages 261-91, April.
  26. Hashimoto, Masanori, 1981. "Firm-Specific Human Capital as a Shared Investment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 475-82, June.
  27. 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.
  28. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:4:p:881-919 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. McCue, Kristin, 1996. "Promotions and Wage Growth," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 14(2), pages 175-209, April.
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