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Efficiency wage and union effects in labor demand and wage structure in Mexico - An application of quantile analysis

  • Maloney, William F.
  • Pontual Ribeiro, Eduardo

Applying quantile analysis to detailed firm-level data from Mexico, the authors study determinants of demand and wages for two classes of labor. Unions appear to have a strong impact on how much unskilled labor is employed but not on wages. This suggests an extreme example of"monopoly union"behavior. The impact on productivity is, by definition, negative, but unions could also be said to be forcing firms to use"appropriate technology"(less capital and more workers), increasing the total amount of labor employed in the economy. The only impact on wages appears for the tenth (lowest) quantile of unskilled workers, suggesting that unions prevent workers from being paid too far below the median for their skill level. The authors identify significant efficiency wage effects where firms pay above market clearing to prevent labor turnover both in labor demand and in the wage equations. Since minimum wages are not binding and the union impact on wages is small, this suggests that whatever segmentation exists emerges endogenously and is not due to union - or government - induced distortions. The authors offer the first use of quantile analysis to analyze labor demand at the firm level, and one of the first uses of correct standard errors in two-stage least-squares quantile regression.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2131.

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Date of creation: 31 May 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2131
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  1. Hendricks, Wallace E & Kahn, Lawrence M, 1991. "Efficiency Wages, Monopoly Unions and Efficient Bargaining," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(408), pages 1149-62, September.
  2. Wadhwani, Sushil B & Wall, Martin, 1991. "A Direct Test of the Efficiency Wage Model Using UK Micro-data," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(4), pages 529-48, October.
  3. Panagides, Alexis & Patrinos, Harry Anthony & DEC, 1994. "Union - nonunion wage differentials in the developing world : a case study of Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1269, The World Bank.
  4. Oswald, A. J., 1995. "Efficient contracts are on the labour demand curve: Theory and facts," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 102-102, March.
  5. Buchinsky, Moshe, 1995. "Estimating the asymptotic covariance matrix for quantile regression models a Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 303-338, August.
  6. 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.
  7. Funkhouser, Edward, 1998. "The importance of firm wage differentials in explaining hourly earnings variation in the large-scale sector of Guatemala," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 115-131, February.
  8. Layard, Richard & Nickell, Stephen, 1990. "Is Unemployment Lower if Unions Bargain over Employment?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(3), pages 773-87, August.
  9. Nickell, Stephen & Wadhwani, Sushil, 1991. "Employment Determination in British Industry: Investigations Using Micro-data," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(5), pages 955-69, October.
  10. Bell, Linda A, 1997. "The Impact of Minimum Wages in Mexico and Colombia," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages S102-35, July.
  11. Esfahani, Hadi S & Salehi-Isfahani, Djavad, 1989. "Effort Observability and Worker Productivity: Towards an Explanation of Economic Dualism," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 818-36, September.
  12. Harris, John R & Todaro, Michael P, 1970. "Migration, Unemployment & Development: A Two-Sector Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 126-42, March.
  13. Blanchflower, David G & Millward, Neil & Oswald, Andrew J, 1991. "Unionism and Employment Behaviour," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 815-34, July.
  14. Freedman, David A & Peters, Stephen C, 1984. "Bootstrapping an Econometric Model: Some Empirical Results," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 2(2), pages 150-58, April.
  15. Lam. D. & Schoeni, R.F., 1996. "Effects on Family Background on Earnings and Returns to Schooling: Evidence from Brazil," Papers 96-13, RAND - Reprint Series.
  16. William T. Dickens & Lawrence F. Katz, 1986. "Interindustry Wage Differences and Industry Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 2014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. George J. Borjas, 1980. "The Relationship between Wages and Weekly Hours of Work: The Role of Division Bias," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 15(3), pages 409-423.
  18. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  19. Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1974. "Alternative Theories of Wage Determination and Unemployment in LDC'S: The Labor Turnover Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 88(2), pages 194-227, May.
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