Small business owners claim that their ability to provide higher wages and more frequent employee health insurance and pension benefits is severely constrained by the profitability of their firms. This paper examines the proposition that employee wage levels, provision of employee health insurance, and sponsorship of an employee pension plan are associated with small business owner income. A large trade-association survey supplies the data for the inquiry. Regression analysis (OLS and logistic) demonstrates that all three forms of employee compensation are tied to business owner income. Further, the business owner income variable "washes out" the generally accepted relationship between size of business and wages, though not the relationships between size of the business and the presence of health insurance nor between the size of business and the presence of pension benefits. The regressions also indicate that unit costs of health insurance and pension benefits are higher for those employing 10 or fewer and 20 or fewer respectively compared the other small businesses.
Small Business Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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