The Impact of Firm Level Contracting on Wage Levels and Inequality: Spain 1995-2002
This paper provides microeconomic evidence on the variation over time of the firm-specific wage premium in Spain from 1995 to 2002, and its impact on wage inequality. We make use of two waves of a detailed linked employer-employee data set. In addition, a new data set with financial information on firms is used for 2002 to control as flexibly as possible for differences in the performance of firms (aggregated at industry level). To our knowledge, there is no microeconomic evidence on the dynamics of the firm-specific wage premium for Spain or for any other country with a similar institutional setting. Our results suggest that there is a clear tendency towards centralization in the collective bargaining process in Spain over this seven-year period, that the firm-level contract wage premium undergoes a substantial decrease, particularly for women, and finally that the "centralization" observed in the collective bargaining process has resulted in a slight decrease in wage inequality.