Now showing 1 - 10 of 20
  • Publication
    The formal sector wage premium and firm size
    We show theoretically that when larger firms pay higher wages and are more likely to be caught defaulting on labor taxes, then large-high wage firms will be in the formal and small-low wage firms will be in the informal sector. The formal sector wage premium is thus just a firm size wage differential. Using data from Ecuador we illustrate that firm size is indeed the key variable determining whether a formal sector premium exists.
      558Scopus© Citations 21
  • Publication
    Why Do Foreign Firms Pay More: The Role of On-the-Job-Training
    While foreign-owned firms have consistently been found to pay higher wages than domestic firms to what appear to be equally productive workers, the causes of this remain unresolved. In a two-period bargaining framework we show that if training is more productive and specific in foreign firms, foreign firm workers will have a steeper wage profile and thus acquire a premium over time. Using a rich employer-employee matched data set we verify that the foreign wage premium is only acquired by workers over time spent in the firm and only by those that receive on the job training, thus providing empirical support for a firm specific human capital acquisition explanation.
      247Scopus© Citations 36
  • Publication
    Dealing with monopsony power: Employment subsidies vs. minimum wages
    (Elsevier, 2007-01) ;
    We show in a monopsony model that accounting for changes in hours a minimum wage has ambiguous effects on employment and welfare. When all workers have the same preference ordering over leisure and consumption employment subsidies unambiguously improve welfare. Many countries have minimum wages and also tax minimum wage workers.
      495Scopus© Citations 4
  • Publication
    The Formal Sector Wage Premium and Firm Size for Self-employed Workers
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2013-10) ; ; ; ;
    We develop a model where workers may enter self-employment or search for jobs as employees and where there is heterogeneity across workers’ managerial ability. Workers with higher skills will manage larger firms while workers with low managerial ability will run smaller firms and will be in self-employment only when they cannot find a salaried job. For these workers self-employment is a secondary/informal form of employment. The Burdett and Mortensen (1998) equilibrium search model is used for illustration as a special case of our more general framework. Empirical evidence from Mexico is provided and demonstrates that firm size wage effects for employees and selfemployed workers are broadly consistent with the model.
  • Publication
    The ambiguous effect of minimum wages on hours
    (Elsevier, 2011-04) ;
    In a competitive model we ease the assumption that efficiency units of labour are the product of hours and workers. We show that a minimum wage may either increase or decrease hours per worker and the change will have the opposite sign to the slope of the equilibrium hours hourly wage locus. Similarly, total hours worked may rise or fall. We illustrate the results throughout with a Cobb-Douglas example.
      413Scopus© Citations 8
  • Publication
    Creating jobs through public subsidies : an empirical analysis
    This paper analyses the impact of government grants on labour demand using plant level data for manufacturing industry in Ireland. Our data consists of a large sample of plants and their complete grant history. We provide evidence that additional employment is created over and above the level that would have prevailed in the absence of grant payments. We also find differences in the employment response to subsidies between domestic and foreign-owned plants, with the former creating more additional jobs per euro of grant payment. Simple cost-benefit analysis reveals that a large part of the costs of grants appears to be recouped in additional wage streams under reasonable assumptions.
      1035Scopus© Citations 37
  • Publication
    Is there an informal employment wage penalty? Evidence from South Africa
    (University of Chicago Press, 2008-04) ; ;
    We estimate the wage penalty associated with working in the South African informal sector. To this end we use a rich data set on non-self employed males that allows one to accurately distinguish workers employed in the informal sector from those employed in the formal sector and link individuals over time. Implementing various econometric approaches we find that there is a gross wage penalty of a little over 18 per cent for working in the informal sector. However, once we reduce our sample to a group for which we can reasonably calculate earnings net of taxes and control for time invariant unobservables the wage penalty disappears.
      1023Scopus© Citations 39
  • Publication
    Estimating the shirking model with variable effort
    (Elsevier, 2007-06) ;
    We show in a theoretical efficiency wage model where firms differ in monitoring intensity that the impact of monitoring intensity on wages is ambiguous, a result that mirrors evidence from the empirical literature. We argue that to correctly specify the impact of monitoring on wages, the interaction between monitoring and effort needs to be modelled. Results using a worker, firm panel from Ghana which contains reasonable effort and monitoring proxies show that the return to effort is higher in poorly monitored sectors as the theory suggests.
      605Scopus© Citations 7
  • Publication
    Foreign direct investment, agglomerations and demonstration effects : an empirical investigation
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2001-03) ; ;
    Many previous studies have shown that the localisation of firms can be an important factor in attracting new foreign direct investment into a host country. What has been missing in this literature thus far, however, is an investigation into the reasons why industry clusters attract firms. We distinguish between “efficiency agglomerations” as firms locating close to each other because they can increase their efficiency by doing so, and “demonstration effects”, whereby existing firms send signals to new investors as to the reliability of the host country and newly entering firms follow previous firms. In this paper we try to disentangle these two effects, by examining the location of US and UK firms in Ireland. We calculate proxies for “efficiency agglomerations” and “demonstration effects” and include these proxies in an empirical model of the location decision of firms. For US firms, we find that both efficiency agglomeration and demonstration effects are important determinants of entry. For UK firms, however, the evidence is not as clear cut.
  • Publication
    An equilibrium search model of the informal sector
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2006-12) ; ;
    We use an equilibrium search framework to model a formal- informal sector labour market where the informal sector arises endogenously. In our model large firms will be in the formal sector and pay a wage premium, while small firms are characterised by low wages and tend to be in the informal sector. Using data from the South African labour force survey we illustrate that the data is consistent with these predictions.