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Author: Finer, Hampton Sequoia Carlos
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1. Finer, Hampton Sequoia Carlos
Wage Determination and Firm Performance in the Presence of Individual and Firm Heterogeneity
Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1998
Cohort(s): NLSY79
Publisher: UMI - University Microfilms, Bell and Howell Information and Learning
Keyword(s): Collective Bargaining; Firm Size; Firms; Heterogeneity; Mobility; Unemployment Insurance; Wage Determination

The first chapter examines mobility and wage determination patterns in the presence of firm and worker heterogeneity. The data comes from a confidential but non-proprietary quarterly wage sample gathered by the Washington State Unemployment Insurance System. The data contain wage and hours data, along with firm and worker identifiers. Wage components are estimated using a regression-based approach that exploits the presence of repeated observations on several mobile workers in each firm. These estimates are aggregated into employer size and industry groups to examine the components of industry and firm-size wage variation. It is found that both individual and firm heterogeneity is important with individual heterogeneity being somewhat more important. The second chapter is an analysis of the relationship between unobserved firm and worker wage components and broad market-based and financial performance of the firm. This essay exploits a brand-new data source I have built with John Abowd under a joint agreement between the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Human Resources Research and the National Opinion Research Center. The project matches the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth respondents' self-reported employer names with sources of company information on publicly and privately held firms. The data covers the survey years from 1986- 1994 and includes annual data for roughly 10,000 respondents and 200,000 employer-years. Firm and individual effects are estimated using a variety of statistical techniques. These components are then related to financial and market data for the publicly held sub-sample of employers. The third and final chapter of my thesis is an investigation of firm investment behavior and collective bargaining outcomes. Wage data is taken from a sample of contracts collected by the Bureau of National Affairs. The contracts are linked to balance sheet information on firm performance and investment behavior for firms in each contract. A simultaneous system of equations for realized bargaining power and investment demand is estimated under an assumption of efficient contracts and Nash-bargaining over enterprise quasi-rents. There is a small but significant disincentive to invest as union bargaining power increases, but the effect is smaller than previous studies have suggested.
Bibliography Citation
Finer, Hampton Sequoia Carlos. Wage Determination and Firm Performance in the Presence of Individual and Firm Heterogeneity. Ph.D. Dissertation, Cornell University, 1998.