Firm Age and Wages
NBER Working Paper No. 8552
In this paper, we analyze the relationship between how long an employer has been in business (firm age) and wages. Using data from special supplements to the Survey Research Center's monthly Survey of Consumers, we find that firms that have been in business longer pay higher wages (as previous studies have found), but pay if anything lower wages after controlling for worker characteristics. There is some evidence that the relationship is not monotonic, with wages falling and then rising with years in business. Older firms provide better fringe benefits and more stable employment, but these differences do not appear very important in understanding the age-wage relationship. Established employers do appear to make greater use of back-loaded compensation, consistent with their higher probability of remaining in business.
Published: Brown, Charles and James L. Medoff. "Firm Age And Wages," Journal of Labor Economics, 2003, v21(3,Jul), 677-697.