Micro-mechanisms Behind Declining Labour Shares: Market Power, Production Processes, and Global Competition
IWH-CompNet Discussion Papers,
This article investigates how changing production processes and increasing market power at the firm level relate to a fall in Germany’s manufacturing sector labour share. Coinciding with the fall of the labour share, I document a rise in firms’ product and labour market power. Notably, labour market power is a more relevant source of firms’ market power than product market power. Increasing product and labour market power, however, only account for 30% of the fall in the labour share. The remaining 70% are explained by a transition of firms towards less labour-intensive production activities. I study the role of final product trade in causing those secular movements. I find that rising foreign export demand contributes to a decline in the labour share by increasing labour market power within firms and by inducing a reallocation of economic activity from nonexporting- high-labour-share to exporting-low-labour-share firms
Socially Gainful Gender Quotas
Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization,
We study the impact of gender quotas on the acquisition of human capital. We assume that individuals’ formation of human capital is influenced by the prospect of landing high-pay top positions, and that these positions are regulated by gender-specific quotas. In the absence of quotas, women consider their chances of getting top positions to be lower than men’s. The lure of top positions induces even men of relatively low ability to engage in human capital formation, whereas women of relatively high ability do not expect to get top positions and do not therefore engage in human capital formation. Gender quotas discourage men who are less efficient in forming human capital, and encourage women who are more efficient in forming human capital. We provide a condition under which the net result of the institution of gender quotas is an increase in human capital in the economy as a whole.
Testing for Structural Breaks at Unknown Time: A Steeplechase
This paper analyzes the role of common data problems when identifying structural breaks in small samples. Most notably, we survey small sample properties of the most commonly applied endogenous break tests developed by Brown et al. (J R Stat Soc B 37:149–163, 1975) and Zeileis (Stat Pap 45(1):123–131, 2004), Nyblom (J Am Stat Assoc 84(405):223–230, 1989) and Hansen (J Policy Model 14(4):517–533, 1992), and Andrews et al. (J Econ 70(1):9–38, 1996). Power and size properties are derived using Monte Carlo simulations. We find that the Nyblom test is on par with the commonly used F type tests in a small sample in terms of power. While the Nyblom test’s power decreases if the structural break occurs close to the margin of the sample, it proves far more robust to nonnormal distributions of the error term that are found to matter strongly in small samples although being irrelevant asymptotically for all tests that are analyzed in this paper.
Do Women Benefit from Competitive Markets? Product Market Competition and the Gender Pay Gap in Germany
Using a large linked employer–employee dataset for Germany with a direct plant-level measure of product market competition and controlling for job-cell fixed effects, we investigate whether relative wages of women benefit from strong competition. We find that the unexplained gender pay gap is about 2.4 log points lower in West German plants that face strong product market competition than in those experiencing weak competition, whereas no such link shows up for East Germany.