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Inter-industry wage differentials in Greece: rent-sharing and unobserved heterogeneity hypotheses

Papapetrou, Evangelia, Tsalaporta, Pinelopi, (2016), “Inter-industry wage differentials in Greece: rent-sharing and unobserved heterogeneity hypotheses”, Bank of Greece, 10 November

This paper examines the structure and determinants of inter-industry wage differentials in Greece, along with the role of the rent-sharing and unobserved heterogeneity hypotheses, employing restricted least squares and quantile regression techniques with cluster robust standard errors at the firm level. To this end, a unique dataset, the European Union Structure of Earnings Survey (SES), is utilized. Data refer to 2010 when the first elements of the economic adjustment programme to deal with the chronic deficiencies of the Greek economy and restore sustainable public finances, competitiveness and set the foundation for long-term growth were beginning to be implemented. Results point to high wage dispersion across industries at the mean of the conditional wage distribution, even after controlling for personal and workplace characteristics. However, evidence for the unobserved heterogeneity hypothesis is rather scant. Therefore, there is room for efficiency wage or rent-sharing theories in accounting for a large part of inter-industry wage differentials tentatively implying that firm heterogeneity in the ability-to-pay matters more than employee unobservable attributes in the wage determination process.

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