We investigate how the wage distribution differs among small and large establishments in four European countries. Findings show that within-establishment wage dispersion rises with size because large employers have a more diverse workforce. They also suggest that screening and monitoring costs imply a lower sensitivity of wages to ability in larger establishments. Smaller establishments are found to rely more on incentive-based pay mechanisms, particularly in countries with a low trade union coverage rate. Further results indicate that between-establishment wage dispersion decreases with employer size because smaller establishments are technologically more diversified and hence exhibit greater diversity in average workforce skills.
wage structure establishment size decomposition of wages Europe