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Compensation Structure and Product Market Competition

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  • John M. Abowd
  • Laurence Allain

Abstract

The inability to measure the opportunity cost of labor has plagued analyses of firm-level compensation policies for many years. Using a newly constructed data set of French workers and firms, we estimate the opportunity cost of the employees' time based on a measure of the person-effect in the wage equations (derived from Abowd, Kramarz and Margolis 1994). We then make direct calculations of the quasi-rent per worker at each firm and the conditions within that firm's product market, as measured by international prices, using a representative sample of private French firms. We find that quasi- rents per worker are only mildly related to the structure of the French product market. The systematic variation in our quasi-rents is related to international market prices and work force structure, however, producing an estimate of bargaining power for the employees of about 0.4. This estimate, while slightly larger than other estimates, may be quite reasonable for the workers in an economy in which the vast majority of jobs are covered by industry-level collective bargaining agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • John M. Abowd & Laurence Allain, 1996. "Compensation Structure and Product Market Competition," NBER Working Papers 5493, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5493
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Brown, James N & Ashenfelter, Orley, 1986. "Testing the Efficiency of Employment Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages 40-87, June.
    3. McDonald, Ian M & Solow, Robert M, 1981. "Wage Bargaining and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 896-908, December.
    4. Abowd, John M, 1989. "The Effect of Wage Bargains on the Stock Market Value of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 774-800, September.
    5. John M. Abowd & Francis Kramarz, 1992. "A Test of Negotiation and Incentive Compensation Models Using Longitudinal French Enterprise Data," NBER Working Papers 4044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. A. Cassoni & G. Labadie, 2001. "The outcome of different bargaining models: the effects on wages, employment and the employment mix," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1401, Department of Economics - dECON.
    2. Berson, Clémence & Ferrari, Nicolas, 2015. "Financial incentives and labour market duality," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 77-92.
    3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien & Schmerer, Hans-Jörg, 2011. "Globalization and labor market outcomes: Wage bargaining, search frictions, and firm heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 39-73, January.
    4. Magnani, Elisabetta & Prentice, David, 2003. "Did globalization reduce unionization? Evidence from US manufacturing," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(6), pages 705-726, December.
    5. Vicente Cuñat & Maria Guadalupe, 2009. "Globalization and the Provision of Incentives inside the Firm: The Effect of Foreign Competition," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(2), pages 179-212, April.
    6. Fontagne, Lionel & Mirza, Daniel, 2007. "International trade and rent sharing among developed and developing countries," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 523-558, May.
    7. A. Cassoni & G. Fachola & G. Labadie, 2001. "The impact of unions on the economic performance of firms," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 1501, Department of Economics - dECON.
    8. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2012. "Wage structure effects of international trade in a small open economy: the case of Belgium," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(2), pages 297-331, June.
    9. Monique Ebell & Christian Haefke, 2009. "Product Market Deregulation and the U.S. Employment Miracle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 12(3), pages 479-504, July.
    10. Philip Du Caju & François Rycx & Ilan Tojerow, 2011. "Wage Structure Effects of International Trade: Evidence from a Small Open Economy," Working Papers CEB 11-011, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Jean-Olivier Hairault & Francois Langot & Arnaud Cheron, 2007. "Job creation and job destruction over the life cycle," 2007 Meeting Papers 431, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    12. Elisabetta Magnani & David Prentice, 2010. "Outsourcing And Unionization: A Tale Of Misallocated (Resistance) Resources," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 460-482, April.
    13. Etienne Campens, 2004. "A multiple matching model with endogenous participation : what's new about the supply-side policies?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 301, Society for Computational Economics.
    14. Bruno Crépon & Christian Gianella, 2001. "Fiscalité et coût d'usage du capital : incidences sur l'investissement, l'activité et l'emploi," Économie et Statistique, Programme National Persée, vol. 341(1), pages 107-128.
    15. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2629-2710 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Arnaud Chéron & François Langot, 2008. "Équilibre général stochastique et dynamique non-walrasienne du marché du travail," Economie & Prévision, La Documentation Française, vol. 0(2), pages 93-113.
    17. Thomas Breda, 2010. "Firms' rents, workers' bargaining power and the union wage premium in France," PSE Working Papers halshs-00564903, HAL.
    18. Adriana Cassoni & Gaston J. Labadie & Gabriela Fachola, 2002. "The Economic Effects of Unions in Latin America: Their Impact on Wages and the Economic Performance of Firms in Uruguay," Research Department Publications 3159, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    19. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Larch, Mario & Lechthaler, Wolfgang, 2012. "Endogenous labor market institutions in an open economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 23(C), pages 30-45.
    20. Sebastian Benz & Erdal Yalcin, 2013. "Quantifying the Economic Effects of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement," CESifo Working Paper Series 4319, CESifo Group Munich.
    21. Sly, Nicholas, 2008. "Labor Matching Behavior in Open Economies and Trade Adjustment," MPRA Paper 25693, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Oct 2010.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J30 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects

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