Efficiency Wages and Industry Wage Differentials: A Comparison Across Methods of Pay

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IZA Seminar

Place: Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 9, 53113 Bonn

Date: 29.01.2002, 12:15 - 13:30


Presentation by 

Paul Chen (Australian National University)


Efficiency wage considerations should be less important for piece-rate pay relative to time wages. Therefore, if industry wage factors, then these pay differences should be less sizable and have less explanatory power for piecework than for timework. We test this proposition using wage data for male production workers employed in the Swedish metalworking industries in 1985. The data is partitioned into two groups of workers. In our preferred subsample of workers who received pay under both piece-rates and time wages, our results are uniformly consistent with efficiency wage implications for industry wage differentials. For the subsample of workers who received pay under either piece-rates or time wages, industry wage differentials are of equal importance under either pay scheme. These latter results, however, may also be influenced by unaccounted for sorting of workers and employers across methods of pay. Overall, our examination of industry wage differentials across method of pay provides mixed support for efficiency wage theory.

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