The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches

The Analysis of Firms and Employees: Quantitative and Qualitative Approaches


The long-term impact of globalization, outsourcing, and technological change on workers is increasingly being studied by economists. At the nexus of labor economics, industry studies, and industrial organization, The Analysis of Firms and Employees presents new findings about these impacts by examining the interaction between the internal workings of businesses and outside influences from the market using data from countries around the globe. The result is enhanced insight into the dynamic interrelationship between firms and workers.
A distinguished team of researchers here examines the relationships between human resource practices and productivity, changing ownership and production methods, and expanding trade patterns and firm competitiveness. With analyses of large-scale, nationwide datasets as well as focused, intensive observation of a few firms, The Analysis of Firms and Employees will challenge economists, policymakers, and scholars alike to rethink their assumptions about the workplace.


Stefan Bender, Julia Lane, Kathryn Shaw, Fredrik Andersson, and Till von Wachter

Motivation for Book

The analysis of the interactions of firms and employees has followed two distinct paths. One path has focused on large-scale, often nationally representative, data sets on firms and employees, typically housed at federal statistical agencies. In some cases, this path has intensively used administrative data, alone or integrated with survey data and, in other cases, the use of surveys designed to collect information about both firms and workers. The other path has been the development of specialized surveys and gathering of personnel records of a small number of firms (or even one firm) or intensive observation (essentially collection of qualitative data) from case studies based on site visits to firms by researchers, data typically housed at universities or think-tanks.

Each of these two study approaches has uncovered interesting and useful pieces of information. Researchers working with large-scale, national, firm-level matched employer-employee data sets have begun to address a variety of organizational topics, such as determinants of wage inequality, the use of alternative wage policies (such as the use of incentive pay) and their impact on worker selection, gender differences in promotion, and

Stefan Bender is a senior researcher at the Institute for Employment Research. Julia Lane
is senior vice president of Economics, Labor, and Population Studies at the National Opin
ion Research Center at the University of Chicago, and a senior research fellow at the U.S. Bu
reau of the Census. Kathryn Shaw is the Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics in the
Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, and a research associate of the National
Bureau of Economic Research. Fredrik Andersson is a senior research associate of the Cor
nell Institute for Social and Economic Research, and a research fellow with the Longitudinal
Employer-Household Dynamics Program (LEHD), U.S. Bureau of the Census. Till von
Wachter is an assistant professor of economics at Columbia University, and a faculty research
fellow of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

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