Across-Country Wage Compression in Multinationals

75 Pages Posted: 2 Mar 2020 Last revised: 13 Mar 2022

See all articles by Jonas Hjort

Jonas Hjort

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Finance

Xuan Li

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST)

Heather Sarsons

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

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Date Written: February 2020

Abstract

Many employers link wages at the firm’s establishments outside of the home region to the level at headquarters. Multinationals that anchor-to-the headquarters also transmit wage changes arising from shocks to minimum wages and exchange rates in the home country/state to their foreign establishments. Such multinationals fire more low-skill workers and hire fewer new workers abroad after a permanent (minimum wage-induced) foreign establishment wage increase originating in shocks to headquarter wages, but not after a temporary (exchange rate-induced) one. We show this using data on 1,060 multinationals’ establishments across the world and in employee-level data on the same employers’ establishments in Brazil.

Suggested Citation

Hjort, Jonas and Li, Xuan and Sarsons, Heather, Across-Country Wage Compression in Multinationals (February 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26788, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3547138

Jonas Hjort (Contact Author)

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Finance ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Xuan Li

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) ( email )

Clearwater Bay
Kowloon, 999999
Hong Kong

Heather Sarsons

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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