Is the Large Firm Wage Premium Dead or Just Merely Resting?
Saturday, Jan. 6, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: Nicholas Bloom, Stanford University
A Cross-country Comparison of Dynamics in Large Firm Wage Premium
AbstractWe provide stylized facts on the existence and dynamics over time of the large firm wage premium for four countries. We examine matched employer-employee micro-data from Brazil, Germany, Sweden, and the UK, and find that the large firm premium exists in all these countries. However, we uncover substantial differences among them in the evolution of the wage premium over the past several decades. Moreover, we find no clear evidence of common cross-country industry trends. We conclude by discussing potential explanations for this heterogeneity, and proposing some questions for future work in the area.
The Productivity-Wage Premium: Does size still matter in a service economy?
AbstractEver since Moore (1911) a large empirical and theoretical literature has established the existence of a firm size-wage premium. At the same time, a second regularity in empirical work, linking size and productivity, has inspired a vast literature in multiple fields. However, the majority of the existing evidence is based on manufacturing data only. With manufacturing nowadays accounting for a very small share of the economy in many countries, whether productivity, size, and wages are closely linked, and how tight this link is across sectors, is still an open question.
Using a unique dataset that collects micro-aggregated firm-level information on productivity, size, and wages for the entire economy in 17 countries over the 1994-2012 period, this paper unveils a much more subtle picture. First, while in the manufacturing sector both productivity and wages increase monotonically with firm size, the same is not true in the service sector. Second, a tight and positive link between wages and productivity is instead found in both manufacturing and services. The combination of these results suggests that, when looking at data for a much larger share of the economy, the "size-wage premium" becomes more a "productivity-wage premium". Unbundling the relationship between size, wages, and productivity has first-order policy implications for both workers and firms.
University of Georgia
John Van Reenen,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy