DP9863 | Cross-border mergers and domestic-firm wages: Integrating ?spillover effects? and ?bargaining effects?

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Two literatures exist concerning cross-border merger activity?s impact on domestic wages: one focusing on spillover-effects; the other focusing on bargaining-effects. Motivated by scarce theoretical scholarship spanning these literatures, we nest both mechanisms in a single conceptual framework. Considering the separate phenomena of inward and outward cross-border merger activity, we predict that ?bargaining? (?spillover?) effects are relatively more dominant under high (low) unionization rates and under high (low) degrees of relatedness. Employing US firm-level panel data on wages combined with industry-level data on unionization and merger activity (covering 1989-2001), we find support for our propositions as inward and outward cross-border merger activity generate positive spillovers to wages, but are more likely to generate firm-level wage decreases when unionization rates are high and when cross-border merger activity is best characterized as related.