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Incentives? The Effect of Profit Sharing Plans Offered by Previous Employers on Current Wages

In this paper, I investigate the relationship between wages and the use of profit sharing plans by both current and past employers. Using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, I find that when I control for the number of years on profit sharing plans prior to the current job, the wage effect of those previous plans is both economically and statistically significant while the wage effect of current plans is markedly reduced, if not completely eliminated. This result sheds doubt on a simple incentive-for-effort explanation for the wage/productivity impact previously measured and suggests that an alternative mechanism based on skill acquisition is likely to play a role.
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