Comparing Micro-Evidence on Rent Sharing from Three Different Approaches

56 Pages Posted: 26 Jul 2010

See all articles by Sabien Dobbelaere

Sabien Dobbelaere

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Department of Economics; Tinbergen Institute; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jacques Mairesse

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST); Maastricht University - United Nations and Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2010

Abstract

Empirical labor economists have resorted to estimating the responsiveness of workersʼ wages on firmsʼ ability to pay to assess the extent to which employers share rents with their employees. This paper compares this labor economics approach with two other approaches that rely on standard micro production data only: the productivity approach for which estimates of the output elasticities of labor and materials and data on the respective revenue shares are needed and the accounting approach which boils down to directly computing the extent of rent sharing from firm accounting information. Using matched employer-employee data on 60,294 employees working in 9,849 firms over the period 1984-2001 in France, we quantify industry differences in rent-sharing parameters derived from the three approaches. We find a median absolute extent of rent sharing of about 0.30 using either the productivity or the accounting approach. Only exploiting firm-level information brings this median rent-sharing parameter down to 0.16 using the labor economics approach. Controlling for unobserved worker ability further reduces the median absolute extent of rent sharing to 0.08. Our analysis makes clear that the three different approaches face important trade-offs. Hence, empirical economists interested in establishing that profits are shared should select the appropriate approach based on the particular research question and on the data at hand.

Suggested Citation

Dobbelaere, Sabien and Mairesse, Jacques, Comparing Micro-Evidence on Rent Sharing from Three Different Approaches (July 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16220. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1648020

Sabien Dobbelaere (Contact Author)

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam - Department of Economics ( email )

De Boelelaan 1105
NL- Amsterdam, NL-1081 HV
Netherlands
0031 20 598 28 74 (Phone)

Tinbergen Institute

Keizersgracht 482
NL- Amsterdam, NL-1017 EG
Netherlands

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
D- Bonn, 53072
Germany

Jacques Mairesse

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) - Center for Research in Economics and Statistics (CREST) ( email )

15 Boulevard Gabriel Peri
Malakoff Cedex, 1 92245
France

Maastricht University - United Nations and Maastricht Economic Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (UNU-MERIT)

Keizer Karelplein 19
6211 TC Maastricht
Netherlands

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
11
Abstract Views
258
PlumX Metrics