Wages, Productivity, and Worker Characteristics: Evidence from Plant-Level Production Functions and Wage Equations
We use a unique new data set that combines individual worker data with data on workers' employers to estimate plant-level production functions and wage equations, and thus to compare relative marginal products and relative wages for various groups of workers. The data and empirical framework lead to new evidence on numerous questions regarding the determination of wages, questions that hinge on the relationship between wages and marginal products of workers in different demographic groups. These include race and sex discrimination in wages, the causes of rising wages over the life cycle, and the returns to marriage. First, workers who have ever been married are more productive than never-married workers and are paid accordingly. Second, prime-aged workers (aged 35-54) are equally as productive as younger workers, and in some specifications are estimated to receive higher wages. However, older workers (aged 55+) are less productive than younger workers but are paid more. Third, the data indicate no difference between the relative wage and relative productivity of black workers. Finally, with the exception of managerial and professional occupations, women are paid about 25-35% less than men, but estimated productivity differentials for women are generally no larger than 15%, and significantly smaller than the pay differential.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1996|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as Hellerstein, Judith K., David Neumark and Kenneth R. Troske. "Wages, Productivity, And Worker Characteristics: Evidence From Plant-Level Production Functions And Wage Equations," Journal of Labor Economics, 1999, v17(3,Jul), 409-446.|
|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.:
- Sanders Korenman & David Neumark, 1991.
"Does Marriage Really Make Men More Productive?,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 282-307.
- James L. Medoff & Katharine G. Abraham, 1980.
"Experience, Performance, and Earnings,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 95(4), pages 703-736.
- Eli Berman & John Bound & Zvi Griliches, 1994. "Changes in the Demand for Skilled Labor within U. S. Manufacturing: Evidence from the Annual Survey of Manufactures," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 367-397.
- Matthew S. Goldberg, 1982. "Discrimination, Nepotism, and Long-Run Wage Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 97(2), pages 307-319.
- Zvi Griliches, 1970. "Notes on the Role of Education in Production Functions and Growth Accounting," NBER Chapters, in: Education, Income, and Human Capital, pages 71-127 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Kenneth R Troske, 1995.
"The Worker-Establishment Characteristics Database,"
95-10, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Robert H Mcguckin & George A Pascoe, 1988. "The Longitudinal Research Database (LRD): Status And Research Possibilities," Working Papers 88-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
- Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark, 1995. "Are Earnings Profiles Steeper Than Productivity Profiles? Evidence from Israeli Firm-Level Data," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 30(1), pages 89-112.
- Erica L. Groshen, 1987.
"The structure of the female/male wage differential: is it who you are, what you do, or where you work?,"
8708, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
- Erica L. Groshen, 1991. "The Structure of the Female/Male Wage Differential: Is It Who You Are, What You Do, or Where You Work?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(3), pages 457-472.
- Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
- Steven G. Allen, 1984. "Unionized Construction Workers are More Productive," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 99(2), pages 251-274.
- Loewenstein, George F & Sicherman, Nachum, 1991. "Do Workers Prefer Increasing Wage Profiles?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 67-84, January.
- Cockburn, Iain & Griliches, Zvi, 1988.
"Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Market's Valuation of R&D and Patents,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 419-23, May.
- Iain Cockburn & Zvi Griliches, 1987. "Industry Effects and Appropriability Measures in the Stock Markets Valuation of R&D and Patents," NBER Working Papers 2465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Andrew D. Foster & Mark R. Rosenzweig, 1993. "Information, Learning, and Wage Rates in Low-Income Rural Areas," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 28(4), pages 759-790.
- Brown, Charles & Medoff, James, 1978. "Trade Unions in the Production Process," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(3), pages 355-78, June.
- Kim B. Clark, 1980. "The Impact of Unionization on Productivity: A Case Study," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 33(4), pages 451-469, July.
- Yoram Ben-Porath, 1967. "The Production of Human Capital and the Life Cycle of Earnings," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 352.
- Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
- Frank, Robert H. & Hutchens, Robert M., 1993. "Wages, seniority, and the demand for rising consumption profiles," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 251-276, August.
- Mark Doms & Timothy Dunne & Kenneth R. Troske, 1997. "Workers, Wages, and Technology," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(1), pages 253-290.
- Cox, Donald & Nye, John Vincent, 1989. "Male-Female Wage Discrimination in Nineteenth-Century France," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 49(04), pages 903-920, December.
- David Neumark, 1988.
"Employers' Discriminatory Behavior and the Estimation of Wage Discrimination,"
Journal of Human Resources,
University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 23(3), pages 279-295.
- David Neumark, 1987. "Employers' discriminatory behavior and the estimation of wage discrimination," Special Studies Papers 227, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Sherwin Rosen, 1983. "A Note on Aggregation of Skills and Labor Quality," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 425-431.
- Becker, Gary S, 1985. "Human Capital, Effort, and the Sexual Division of Labor," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(1), pages S33-58, January.
- Lazear, Edward P, 1979. "Why Is There Mandatory Retirement?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1261-84, December.
- Daniel, K., 1991. "Does Marriage Make Men More Productive?," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 92-2, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
- Mary Corcoran & Greg J. Duncan, 1979. "Work History, Labor Force Attachment, and Earnings Differences between the Races and Sexes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 14(1), pages 3-20.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5626. 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.