Strong Employers and Weak Employees: How Does Employer Concentration Affect Wages?
Nittai K. Bergman and
Working Papers from U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies
We analyze the effect of local-level labor market concentration on wages. Using plant-level U.S. Census data over the period 1977–2009, we find that: (1) local-level employer concentration exhibits substantial cross-sectional and time-series variation and increases over time; (2) consistent with labor market monopsony power, there is a negative relation between local-level employer concentration and wages that is more pronounced at high levels of concentration and increases over time; (3) the negative relation between labor market concentration and wages is stronger when unionization rates are low; (4) the link between productivity growth and wage growth is stronger when labor markets are less concentrated; and (5) exposure to greater import competition from China (the “China Shock”) is associated with more concentrated labor markets. These five results emphasize the role of local-level labor market monopsonies in influencing firm wage-setting.
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cen:wpaper:18-15
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