Working Paper

The Multinational Wage Premium and Wage Dynamics

Abstract: Using detailed administrative data linking French firms and workers over the years 2002-2007, we document a distinct U-shaped pattern in worker-level wages surrounding the time their employer is acquired by a foreign firm, with a dip in earnings observed in years just before domestic firms switch to MNE status. The dip in earnings is evident in both wages and in-kind payments given to workers. {{p}} To guide our empirical approach, we present a model with fair wage considerations among workers and endogenous cross-border acquisition activity among heterogeneous firms that predicts this U-shaped pattern, and characterizes the selection of domestic targets for acquisition by an MNE. Moreover, we use the model to theoretically ground the conditional mean independence assumption that underlies commonly applied empirical techniques. Worker-level wages decline by approximately 7.5 percent in the years leading up to foreign acquisition, and subsequently increase by 12.5 percent following cross-border acquisition.

Keywords: Multinational enterprises; Wages; Wage premium; In-kind payments;

JEL Classification: F14; F23; F66;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Part of Series: Research Working Paper

Publication Date: 2016-11-01

Number: RWP 16-10

Pages: 32 pages