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Do Foreign Firms Really Pay Higher Wages? : Evidence from Different Estimators

  • Pedro S. Martins

We contribute to the literature on Foreign Direct Investment and labour markets by examining wage differentials between domestic and foreign firms, drawing on a large Portuguese matched employer-employee panel. Using OLS, the foreign-firm premium is large and significantly positive but falls substantially when firm and worker controls are added. Moreover, the premium also does not vary monotonically with foriegn control, increases along the wage distribution and is generally insignificant when using propensity score matching (PSM). Finally, using differnces-in differences (DID), we find lower wage growth for workers in domestic firms that are acquired by foreign investors, a result that holds when combining DID and PSM. Overall, our evidence suggests that the commonly-documented OLS premium cannot be interpreted as a casual impact.

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Paper provided by Centre for Research into Industry, Enterprise, Finance and the Firm in its series CRIEFF Discussion Papers with number 0409.

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Date of creation: Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:san:crieff:0409
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  1. Rachel Griffith & Helen Simpson, 2004. "Characteristics of Foreign-Owned Firms in British Manufacturing," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 147-180 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Fosfuri, Andrea & Motta, Massimo & Rønde, Thomas, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment and Spillovers through Workers' Mobility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Oi, Walter Y. & Idson, Todd L., 1999. "Firm size and wages," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 33, pages 2165-2214 Elsevier.
  9. Görg, Holger & Greenaway, David, 2003. "Much Ado About Nothing? Do Domestic Firms Really Benefit from Foreign Direct Investment?," IZA Discussion Papers 944, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  12. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan Deardorff & Robert Stern, 2004. "The Effects of Multinational Production on Wages and Working Conditions in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: Challenges to Globalization: Analyzing the Economics, pages 279-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Pedro S. Martins, 2007. "Rent sharing and wages," Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(2), pages 23-31.
  14. Andrei Shleifer & Lawrence H. Summers, 1987. "Breach of Trust in Hostile Takeovers," NBER Working Papers 2342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Aitken, B. & Harrison, A. & Lipsey, R.E., 1995. "Wages and Foreign Ownership: A Comparative Study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Papers 95-21, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  18. Pedro Portugal & Olivier Blanchard, 2001. "What Hides Behind an Unemployment Rate: Comparing Portuguese and U.S. Labor Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 187-207, March.
  19. Holger Görg & Eric Strobl & Frank Walsh, 2007. "Why Do Foreign-Owned Firms Pay More? The Role of On-the-Job Training," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 464-482, October.
  20. Portugal, Pedro & Cardoso, Ana Rute, 2002. "Disentangling the Minimum Wage Puzzle: An Analysis of Worker Accessions and Separations," IZA Discussion Papers 544, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  21. Guimaraes, Paulo & Figueiredo, Octavio & Woodward, Douglas, 2000. "Agglomeration and the Location of Foreign Direct Investment in Portugal," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 115-135, January.
  22. Lichtenberg, Frank R & Siegel, Donald, 1990. "The Effect of Ownership Changes on the Employment and Wages of Central Office and Other Personnel," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(2), pages 383-408, October.
  23. Dirk Willem te Velde, 2003. "Do Workers in Africa Get a Wage Premium if Employed in Firms Owned by Foreigners?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 12(1), pages 41-73, March.
  24. Martins, Pedro S., 2004. "Industry wage premia: evidence from the wage distribution," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 157-163, May.
  25. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  27. Almeida, Rita K., 2003. "The Effects of Foreign Owned Firms on the Labor Market," IZA Discussion Papers 785, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  28. Pedro Martins, 2005. "The Inter-Industry Wage Structure of U.S. Multinationals," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 10(1), pages 1-7.
  29. José Mata & Pedro Portugal, 2001. "The Survival of New Domestic and Foreign Owned Firms," Working Papers w200101, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
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  33. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2001. "Evaluating the employment impact of a mandatory job search assistance program," IFS Working Papers W01/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
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