Employer Size and The Wage Structure in U.S. Manufacturing
We study how the hourly wage structure varies with establishment size and how wage dispersion breaks down into between-plant and within-plant components Our study combines household and establishment data for the U.S. manufacturing sector in 1982. 1) Wage dispersion falls sharply with establishment size for nonproduction workers and mildly for production workers. 2) Size-class differences in wage dispersion often mask even sharper differences in the dispersion of wages generated by observable worker characteristics and in the 'skill prices' on those characteristics. 3) In terms of dispersion in predicted log wages worker heterogeneity tends to rise with establishment size production workers are much more homogenous in the union sector, but only at plants with 1,000 or more workers. 4) Unobserved factors generate sharply greater wage dispersion at smaller establishments. 5) The variance in mean wages across establishments accounts for 59% of total variance. Within-plant wage variance among production workers accounts for a mere 2%. 6) Mean wage differences by size of establishment account for about one-fourth of the total between-plant variance of wages. 7) Between-plant wage dispersion falls sharply with establishment size, entirely accounting for the negative relationship of establishment size to overall wage dispersion. Guided by these and other empirical findings, we assess several hypotheses about the determination of the wage structure.
|Date of creation:||Dec 1995|
|Publication status:||published as Annales D'Economie Et De Statistique, No.41/42, 1996, pp.323-367.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Michael Podgursky, 1986. "Unions, Establishment Size, and Intra-Industry Threat Effects," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 39(2), pages 277-284, January.
- Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, March.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1982. "Selection and the Evolution of Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(3), pages 649-70, May.
- Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992.
"Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 107(3), pages 819-863.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction and Employment Reallocation," NBER Working Papers 3728, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
- Kahn, Lawrence M & Curme, Michael, 1987. "Unions and Nonunion Wage Dispersion," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 600-607, November.
- Edward P. Lazear & Sherwin Rosen, 1979.
"Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts,"
NBER Working Papers
0401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1989.
"The Employer Size-Wage Effect,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(5), pages 1027-1059, October.
- Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-442, June.
- Richard B. Freeman, 1980.
"Unionism and the Dispersion of Wages,"
Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 34(1), pages 3-23, October.
- Lambson, V.E., 1989. "Industry Evolution With Sunk Costs And Uncertian Market Conditions," Working papers 8904, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1989. "Pay Equality and Industrial Politics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 561-580, June.
- Garen, John E, 1985. "Worker Heterogeneity, Job Screening, and Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(4), pages 715-739, August.
- Paula B. Voos, 1983. "Union Organizing: Costs and Benefits," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 36(4), pages 576-591, July.
- Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Wage Dispersion Between and Within U.S. Manufacturing Plants, 1963-1986," NBER Working Papers 3722, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Timothy Dunne & Mark J. Roberts & Larry Samuelson, 1989.
"The Growth and Failure of U. S. Manufacturing Plants,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 104(4), pages 671-698.
- Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
- Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1991.
"Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors,"
NBER Working Papers
3927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lawrence F. Katz & Kevin M. Murphy, 1992. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963–1987: Supply and Demand Factors," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 107(1), pages 35-78.
- Katz, L.F. & Murphy, K.M., 1991. "Changes in Relative Wages, 1963-1987: Supply and Demand Factors," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1580, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Farber, Henry S & Saks, Daniel H, 1980. "Why Workers Want Unions: The Role of Relative Wages and Job Characteristics," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(2), pages 349-369, April.
- Rosen, Sherwin, 1987. "The theory of equalizing differences," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 641-692 Elsevier.
- Mellow, Wesley, 1982. "Employer Size and Wages," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 495-501, August.
- Richard Ericson & Ariel Pakes, 1992. "An Alternative Theory of Firm and Industry Dynamics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1041, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5393. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.