Employment and Wage Insurance within Firms: Worldwide Evidence
61 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2015
Date Written: July 2015
We investigate the determinants of firms' implicit employment and wage insurance to employees, using a difference-in-difference approach: we rely on differences between family and non-family firms to identify the supply of insurance, and exploit variation in unemployment insurance programs across and within countries to gauge workers' demand for insurance. Using a firm-level panel from 41 countries, we find that family firms provide more stable employment than non-family ones, and in exchange they obtain both greater wage flexibility and lower labor cost: on average, their real wages are 5 percent lower, controlling for country, industry and time effects. The additional employment security provided by family firms is greater, and the wage discount larger, the less generous is public unemployment insurance: private and public provision of employment insurance appear to be substitutes.
Keywords: family firms, insurance, risk-sharing, social security, unemployment, wages
JEL Classification: G31, G32, G38, H25, H26, M40
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