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Explaining wage losses after job displacement: Employer size and lost firm rents

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  • Fackler, Daniel
  • Müller, Steffen
  • Stegmaier, Jens

Abstract

Why does job displacement, e.g., following import competition, technological change, or economic downturns, result in permanent wage losses? The job displacement literature is silent on whether wage losses after job displacement are driven by lost firm wage premiums or worker productivity depreciations. We therefore estimate losses in wages and firm wage premiums. Premiums are measured as firm effects from a two-way fixed-effects approach, as described in Abowd, Kramarz, and Margolis (1999). Using German administrative data, we find that wage losses are, on average, fully explained by losses in firm wage premiums and that premium losses are largely permanent. We show that losses in wages and premiums are minor for workers displaced from small plants and strongly increase with pre-displacement firm size, which provides an explanation for the large and persistent wage losses that have been found in previous studies mostly focusing on displacement from large employers.

Suggested Citation

  • Fackler, Daniel & Müller, Steffen & Stegmaier, Jens, 2017. "Explaining wage losses after job displacement: Employer size and lost firm rents," IWH Discussion Papers 32/2017, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:iwhdps:322017
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    Cited by:

    1. Woodcock, Simon D., 2020. "The Effect of the Hartz Labor Market Reforms on Post-unemployment Wages, Sorting, and Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 13300, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Arellano-Bover, Jaime, 2020. "Career Consequences of Firm Heterogeneity for Young Workers: First Job and Firm Size," IZA Discussion Papers 12969, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    3. Holtemöller, Oliver & Schult, Christoph, 2019. "Stellungnahme zum "Strukturstärkungsgesetz Kohleregionen" anlässlich der Anhörung im Ausschuss für Wirtschaft und Energie des Deutschen Bundestages am 15. Mai 2019," IWH Online 2/2019, Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH).
    4. Brendan Moore & Judith Scott-Clayton, 2019. "The Firm's Role in Displaced Workers' Earnings Losses," NBER Working Papers 26525, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Fackler, Daniel & Stegmaier, Jens & Weigt, Eva, 2019. "Does extended unemployment benefit duration ameliorate the negative employment effects of job loss?," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 123-138.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    job displacement; wages; firm size; firm rents;

    JEL classification:

    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J63 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Turnover; Vacancies; Layoffs
    • J65 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment Insurance; Severance Pay; Plant Closings

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