nep-bec New Economics Papers
on Business Economics
Issue of 2005‒02‒01
twenty-one papers chosen by
Christian Calmes
Universite du Quebec en Outaouais

  1. Measurement bias due to response styles: a structural equation model assessing the effects of modes of data collection By Weijters,; Schillewaert, N.; Geuens, M.
  2. Wages, risk sharing and economic fluctuations. By Enisse Kharroubi
  3. Using projective techniques to further understanding of the RAPM-PEU relationship : evidence from the experience of marketing and sales managers By LÖNING, Hélène; BESSON, Madeleine; MENDOZA, Carla
  4. How Internal Transaction costs drive compensation schemes By ROUZIES, Dominique; ANDERSON, Erin; COUGHLAN, Anne T.
  5. The Long-Term Effectiveness of Refusal Conversion Procedures on Longitudinal Surveys By Jonathan Burton; Heather Laurie; Peter Lynn
  6. The Contact and Response Process in Business Surveys: lessons from a multimode survey of employers in the UK By Peter Lynn; Emanuela Sala
  7. Validation of Survey Data on Income and Employment: The ISMIE Experience By Annette Jäckle; Emanuela Sala; Stephen P. Jenkins; Peter Lynn
  8. The Effects of Dependent Interviewing on Responses to Questions on Income Sources By Peter Lynn; Annette Jäckle; Stephen P. Jenkins; Emanuela Sala
  9. Minimum Wages Enhancing Trainers’ Incentives By Kyota Eguchi
  10. Linking Household Survey and Administrative Record Data: what should the matching variables be? By Stephen P. Jenkins; Peter Lynn; Annette Jäckle; Emanuela Sala
  11. Dependent Interviewing and Seam Effects in Work History Data By Annette Jäckle; Peter Lynn
  12. Workers, Workplaces and Working Hours By Mark L. Bryan
  13. Patterns of Consent: evidence from a general household survey By Stephen P. Jenkins; Lorenzo Cappellari; Annette Jäckle; Emanuela Sala
  14. Job Mobility and Wage Mobility at the Beginning of the Working Career: a comparative view across Europe By Maria A. Davia
  15. Labor market discrimination and racial differences in premarket factors By Carneiro, Pedro; Heckman, James; Masterov, Dimitriy
  16. Marketing Knowledge Management in strategic adoption of a CRM sol utions: global supports and applications in Europe By Antonio LORENZON; Peter J. VAN BAALEN; Luciano PILOTTI
  17. CRM technologies as a leverage of competitiveness and business va lue creation in European markets: By Antonio LORENZON; Peter J. VAN BAALEN; Luciano PILOTTI
  18. A Dynamic Theory of Optimal Capital Structure and Executive Compensation By Andrew Atkeson; Harold Cole
  19. General Purpose Technologies By Boyan Jovanovic; Peter L. Rousseau
  20. Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy By Pol Antras; Luis Garicano; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
  21. On the governance of start-ups By Ambec, S.

  1. By: Weijters,; Schillewaert, N.; Geuens, M.
    Abstract: This paper validates measures of response styles as latent variables using structural equation modeling. Next to measurement validation the main objective is to assess whether different modes of data collection bring along measurement bias due to response styles. Results indicate that Internet panel and telephone survey respondents do not show a higher yeah-saying tendency than do people responding to a postal mail survey. Participants in web panel surveys also use the range of rating scales similarly compared to postal mail participants. Telephone survey respondents used a wider range of rating scale options. This may be due to primacy and recency effects of the response options. Internet pop-up surveys seem to lead to more yeah-saying, while respondents also use a narrower range of the rating scale.
    Keywords: Note
    Date: 2004–11–15
  2. By: Enisse Kharroubi
    Abstract: This paper documents a stylized fact on the aggregate wage structure of firms and proposes an explanation for this stylized fact based on the existence of capital market imperfections. We first provide empirical evidence that, every thing else equal, workers real compensation is more sensitive to economic fluctuations in economies where the variance of fluctuations is larger. Secondly we show that this can be accounted for in a framework where firms are confronted to imperfect capital markets. In this case, the wage insurance provided to workers can have a negative effect on the borrowing capacity of firms. Then with risk averse workers, a trade-off appears for firms between the cost of labor and the intensity of borrowing constraints. Finally in a macroeconomic model where the risk sharing agreement between firms and workers directly impacts the macroeconomic behavior of the economy, this model yields the observed positive correlation between real wages procyclicity and the volatility of economic fluctuations.
    Date: 2004
  3. By: LÖNING, Hélène; BESSON, Madeleine (INT-Evry); MENDOZA, Carla (ESCP-EAP Management School, Paris)
    Abstract: In an increasingly uncertain context, budgeting faces at least two categories of concerns : how should realistic objectives be set in a poorly predictable context? How should a fair year-end evaluation be performed when uncertainty has affected the results and their controllability? <p> Since Hopwood's (1972) paper, performance evaluative styles have provided a rich vein for empirical behavioral studies in control, largely based on contingency approaches, and the Perceived Environmental Uncertainty (PEU) has been examined in many empirical studies. However, two decades of literature on the RAPM-PEU relationship have produced results that are best inconclusive. <p> In our view, there is a need for better understanding of the constructs commonly used in RAPM research. To meet this need, we used a field-based study and projective techniques to interview fourteen senior marketing and sales managers in a variety of industries. The interviews were designed to capture the managers' perceptions relating to RAPM, and to uncertainty. <p> Our results highlight an important practical and theoretical distinction between actionable and non-actionable sources of PEU, which is based on a manager's ability to improve the predictability of change, and/or to be able to react to changes in the environment with an additional effort. When PEU is high and perceived as non-actionable, the paper examines what kind of social and organizational adjustments take place that can avoid the potential negative behavioral consequences of RAPM. The results emphasize that budgeting and performance evaluation are a multiple-year game, where trust and knowledge of social rules build up over the years, and learning takes place - a picture left out of traditional RAPM literature.
    Keywords: budgeting; RAPM; uncertainty; projective techniques; behavioral accounting; marketing and sales managers
    JEL: G31 M31 M41
    Date: 2004–07–28
  4. By: ROUZIES, Dominique; ANDERSON, Erin (INSEAD); COUGHLAN, Anne T. (Kellogg School of Management, Evanston)
    Abstract: The literature on chief executive officers (CEOs) established that economics and sociological rationales are both essential to understand the level and structure of CEOs' compensation. Our thesis is that internal "transaction costs" or frictions override strictly economic criteria to determine pay levels and pay structures. We study mid-level jobs that have features strikingly similar to the CEO. We show that pay checks and their underlying structure follow counterintuitive patterns, as if the employer resorts to a third party (i.e. the customer base) to reduce employee discontent over pay. We also find that firms reward managers as if they have considerable value added.
    Keywords: internal transaction costs; compensation; CEO
    JEL: J33 M31 M41
    Date: 2004–10–01
  5. By: Jonathan Burton (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Heather Laurie (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Peter Lynn (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Survey organisations often attempt to “convert” sample members who refuse to take part in a survey. Persuasive techniques are used in an effort to get the refusers to change their mind and agree to an interview. This is done in order to improve response rate and, possibly, to reduce non-response bias. However, refusal conversion attempts are expensive and must be justified. Previous studies of the effects of refusal conversion attempts are few and have been restricted to cross-sectional surveys. The criteria for “success” of a refusal conversion attempt are different in the case of a longitudinal survey, where for many purposes the researcher requires complete data over multiple waves. This paper uses data from the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) from 1994 to 2002 to assess the long term effectiveness of refusal conversion procedures in terms of sample sizes, sample composition and data quality.
    Keywords: non-response bias, refusals
    Date: 2004–07
  6. By: Peter Lynn (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Emanuela Sala (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: On surveys of businesses, the processes of making contact and obtaining co-operation are quite different from those on more frequently studied types of surveys, such as those of households or private individuals. We describe experiences and outcomes on a business survey and discuss lessons that can be learnt in order to maximise contact and co-operation rates on future surveys. The survey in question has some valuable characteristics, including a wealth of auxiliary information. It also presents an interesting perspective on issues of privacy and confidentiality.
    Date: 2004–08
  7. By: Annette Jäckle (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Emanuela Sala (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Peter Lynn (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: This report derives from the project “Improving survey measurement of income and employment (ISMIE)” which investigates measurement error in survey data on income and employment, using a UK sub-sample of the European Household Community Panel (ECHP). In this paper we describe the process of collecting validation data and the outcomes of the process. Validation data were obtained from two sources: employers’ records and government benefit data from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The former provided information on occupation and employment status, gross and net pay, membership of company pension schemes and industry sector. The latter provided histories of benefit receipt and tax credits, for example, child, disability, housing and unemployment benefits, pensions and income support. In the survey interview, respondents were asked for written permission both to obtain their DWP records and to contact their employer. They were also asked to provide information that would facilitate the process of obtaining the validation data: National Insurance number (NINO) and employer contact details. Subsequently, DWP records were extracted using a non-hierarchical matching strategy, based on different combinations of identifying variables obtained in the survey (NINO, sex, date of birth, name and postcode), and a survey of employers was carried out (mail, with telephone follow-up). The representativeness of the validation samples obtained depends on the co-operation of both survey respondents and providers of validation data, as well as errors in the matching process. We report permission rates, proportions providing matching items, match rates for the DWP data and response rates to the employer survey. We identify correlates of these measures of success at each stage of the validation process in terms of substantive characteristics of the survey respondents. Variation by subgroups is identified and implications for the representativeness of the validation sample are discussed.
    Date: 2004–08
  8. By: Peter Lynn (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Annette Jäckle (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Emanuela Sala (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using an experimental design, we compare two alternative approaches to dependent interviewing (proactive and reactive) with traditional independent interviewing on a module of questions about sources of income. We believe this to be the first large-scale quantitative comparison of proactive and reactive dependent interviewing. The three approaches to questioning are compared in terms of their impact on under-reporting of income sources and related bivariate statistics. The study design also enables identification of the characteristics of respondents whose responses are sensitive to the mode of interviewing. We conclude that under-reporting can be significantly greater with independent interviewing than with either form of dependent interviewing, especially for income sources that are relatively common or relatively easy to forget. We find that dependent interviewing is particularly helpful as a recall aid for respondents below retirement age and registered disabled persons.
    Date: 2004–09
  9. By: Kyota Eguchi (University of Tsukuba)
    Abstract: I consider the effect of minimum wages to on-the-job training from the viewpoint of trainers' incentives. In the work environment, experienced employees play significant roles in training new employees. However, the more training they provide to trainees, the less likely those trainers would be promoted. I call the trainers' situation the trainers' dilemma between promotion and training. I show that minimum wages alleviate the trainers' dilemma, since minimum wages increase income for not-promoted workers and reduce net benefit of promotion. Hence, minimum wage legislations enhance on-the-job training and social welfare, but reduce firms' profit
    Date: 2004–09
  10. By: Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Peter Lynn (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Annette Jäckle (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Emanuela Sala (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Linkages of household survey responses with administrative data may be based on unique individual identifiers or on survey respondent characteristics. The benefits gained from using unique identifiers need to be assessed in the light of potential problems such as non-response and measurement error. We report on a study that linked survey responses to UK government agency records on benefits and tax credits in five different ways. One matched on a respondent-supplied National Insurance Number and the other four used different combinations of sex, name, address, and date of birth. As many linkages were made using matches on sex, date of birth, and post-code, or on sex, date of birth, first name and family name, as were made using matches on self-reported National Insurance Number, and the former were also relatively accurate when assessed in terms of false positive and false negative rates. The five independent matching exercises also shed light on the potential returns from hierarchical and pooled matching.
    Date: 2004–10
  11. By: Annette Jäckle (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Peter Lynn (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Dependent interviewing has been introduced by a number of panel surveys as a means of reducing measurement error, in particular the typically observed concentration of transitions at the seam between waves, the ‘seam effect’. Little evidence exists, however, of the effects on survey estimates. We report on a large scale randomised experiment comparing dependent interviewing with traditional independent methods. Proactive dependent interviewing improves the quality of work history data by reducing seam effects, and reduces bias in estimates of monthly labour force transitions and spell durations. Proactive interviewing does not have any effect on measures of cumulative experience and does not appear to lead to under-reporting of change. Seam transitions in continuous work histories are largely explained by editing rules used to reconcile reports from repeated panel observations. Proactive methods reduce seam effects by precluding overlapping non-corresponding reports. The potential for eliminating seam effects is, however, limited by item non-response to date questions.
    Date: 2004–12
  12. By: Mark L. Bryan (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: Under plausible assumptions about firm preferences over the working time of their employees, the number of hours worked is likely to depend on firm, as well as individual, characteristics. I use the WERS98 employer-employee matched dataset to analyse the role played by differences between firms on the one hand, and between individuals on the other, in the observed variation in hours of work. I analyse whether and how hours vary within firms according to individual characteristics, and evaluate the degree to which individuals are sorted into different firms based on their human capital characteristics and working time preferences. Overall, I find substantial roles for both firm-level differences in technology and individual characteristics. A large share of hours variation is also due to the sorting of individuals into firms based on human capital characteristics. By contrast, there is less evidence of sorting on labour supply preference characteristics like marital status and parenthood, despite differing working hours across firms. Within firms, after controlling for the effects of human capital on hours, preference characteristics have a statistically and economically significant effect on hours of work.
    Date: 2004–12
  13. By: Stephen P. Jenkins (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Lorenzo Cappellari (Universita Cattolica di Milano); Annette Jäckle (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Emanuela Sala (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: We analyse consent patterns and consent bias in the context of a large general household survey, the ‘Improving survey measurement of income and employment’ (ISMIE) survey, also addressing issues that arise when there are multiple consent questions. Using a multivariate probit regression model for four binary outcomes with two incidental truncations, we show that there are biases in consent to data linkage with benefit and tax credit administrative records held by the Department for Work and Pensions, and with wage and employment data held by employers, and also in respondents’ willingness and ability to supply their National Insurance Number. The biases differ according to the question considered, however. We also show that modelling consent questions independently rather than jointly may lead to misleading inferences about consent bias. A positive correlation between unobservable individual factors affecting consent to DWP record linkage and consent to employer record linkage is suggestive of a latent individual consent propensity.
    Date: 2004–12
  14. By: Maria A. Davia (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: This piece of work is aimed at studying the rewards to job mobility and whether it is a proper tool to experience wage growth and escaping situations of low-paid jobs. The data-base used will be the European Community Household Panel Survey, from which a sample of young people (under 30 in 1994) from thirteen different countries has been drawn. The selected technique will be a fixed-effects model where job mobility endogenous nature is taken into account and where the marginal wage increase for movers is approached. Results show that, on average, young workers who move across employers (being initially worse paid than the stable ones) achieve a positive increase in their wages vis-à-vis those who remain with the same employer. However, this advantage in the wage dynamics is positive but at a decreasing rate, with too much mobility resulting in lower outcomes. Although a causal relation between job mobility is found, including control for endogeneity often wipes the explanatory power of mobility away, particularly when accumulated mobility is looked at.
    Date: 2005–01
  15. By: Carneiro, Pedro (University College London); Heckman, James (University of Chicago); Masterov, Dimitriy (University of Chicago)
    Abstract: We investigate the relative significance of differences in cognitive skills and discrimination in explaining racial/ethnic wage gaps. We show that cognitive test scores taken prior to entering the labor market are influenced by schooling. Adjusting the scores for racial/ethnic differences in education at the time the test is taken reduces their role in accounting for the wage gaps. We also consider evidence on parental and child expectations about education and on stereotype-threat effects. We find both factors to be implausible alternative explanations for the gaps we observe. We argue that policies need to address the sources of early skill gaps and to seek to influence the more malleable behavioral abilities in addition to their cognitive counterparts. Such policies are far more likely to be effective in promoting racial and ethnic equality for most groups than are additional civil rights and affirmative action policies targeted at the workplace.
    Keywords: Cognitive skills; discrimination; wage gaps
    JEL: J31
    Date: 2004–09–15
  16. By: Antonio LORENZON; Peter J. VAN BAALEN; Luciano PILOTTI
    Abstract: From the beginning of the 1990s, the business world has been talk ing about Knowledge Management (KM). Information Technologies (ne twork technologies and local databases) have provided new tools t o better perform the activity of using (codify and store) and sha ring knowledge (modern Knowledge Management System). Technology c an help to enable greater process standardization and automation in the Knowledge Integration among the marketing processes. The f irst core point of this article is to identify the key areas wher e technology can drive greater efficiency and effectiveness on th e development of the relational softwares as Customer Relationshi p Management. The second key point is the analysis and the creati on of a future scenario based on a KM-based Customer Relationship Management framework throughout the integration between strateg ic and operative supports
    Keywords: Knowledge management, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing, User innovation; Open source software; Community; Knowledge performance
  17. By: Antonio LORENZON; Peter J. VAN BAALEN; Luciano PILOTTI
    Abstract: The term CRM, Customer Relationship Management, is one of the mos t applied concept both in Marketing and IT literature and applica tions. CRM is most of the time used as a replacement of a mislead ing narrow term: Relationship Management (RM). Operations, Custom er Service, Sales, human resources, credit controls are essential ingredients in the customer satisfaction blender. We can conclud e that the definition of CRM is also its objective: the developme nt and maintenance of mutually beneficial long-term relationships with strategically significant customers. All this focus on cust omers and their needs comes from a shift from a mass marketing ap proach, through market segmentation, to an individualised marketi ng. This one-to-one marketing strategy is connected also with a m ore and more delocalised access to the markets from the logistics and distribution partners that implicates much more real-time ex pectations of the customers. So the market started to move from a product oriented structure to a customer oriented one but, unfor tunately not all the companies haven’t adapted their organization to the new requests of the new “customer centric era”.
    Keywords: Knowledge management, Customer Relationship Management, Marketing, User innovation; Open source software; Community; Projects’ performance
  18. By: Andrew Atkeson; Harold Cole
    Abstract: We put forward a theory of the optimal capital structure of the firm based on Jensen's (1986) hypothesis that a firm's choice of capital structure is determined by a trade-off between agency costs and monitoring costs. We model this tradeoff dynamically. We assume that early on in the production process, outside investors face an informational friction with respect to withdrawing funds from the firm which dissipates over time. We assume that they also face an agency friction which increases over time with respect to funds left inside the firm. The problem of determining the optimal capital structure of the firm as well as the optimal compensation of the manager is then a problem of choosing payments to outside investors and the manager at each stage of production to balance these two frictions.
    JEL: G3
    Date: 2005–01
  19. By: Boyan Jovanovic; Peter L. Rousseau
    Abstract: Electricity and Information Technology (IT) are perhaps the two most important general purpose technologies (GPTs) to date. We analyze how the U.S. economy reacted to them. The Electricity and IT eras are similar, but also differ in several important ways. Electrification was more broadly adopted, whereas IT seems to be technologically more "revolutionary." The productivity slowdown is stronger in the IT era but the ongoing spread of IT and its continuing precipitous price decline are reasons for optimism about growth in the 21st century.
    JEL: O3 N2
    Date: 2005–01
  20. By: Pol Antras; Luis Garicano; Esteban Rossi-Hansberg
    Abstract: How does the formation of cross-country teams affect the organization of work and the structure of wages? To study this question we propose a theory of the assignment of heterogeneous agents into hierarchical teams, where less skilled agents specialize in production and more skilled agents specialize in problem solving. We first analyze the properties of the competitive equilibrium of the model in a closed economy, and show that the model has a unique and efficient solution. We then study the equilibrium of a two-country model (North and South), where countries differ in their distributions of ability, and in which agents in different countries can join together in teams. We refer to this type of integration as globalization. Globalization leads to better matches for all southern workers but only for the best northern workers. As a result, we show that globalization increases wage inequality in the South but not necessarily in the North. We also study how globalization affects the size distribution of firms and the patterns of consumption and trade in the global economy.
    JEL: D2 F1 F2 J3 L2
    Date: 2005–01
  21. By: Ambec, S.
    Abstract: This paper examines an entrepreneur-investor relationship in a stylized model where (i) investment needs are unknown ex ante and arise sequentially (ii) a major decision must be reached at a maturity strage, (iii) this decision depends on entrepreneur's private information, observable by the investor at some cost. The two partners agree on a corporate governance system which includes a split of futre cash-flows and an allocation of control on the above decision contingently on investment. It turns out that control is assigned to the entrepreneur for low investment levels and then switches to the investor when investment exceeds a threshold. ...French Abstract : Cet article analyse une relation entrepreneur-investisseur dans une modèle stylisée dans lequel (i) les besoins financiers, inconnus ex ante, se présentent de manière séquentielle, (ii) une décision majeure doit être prise à la maturité du projet, (iii) cette décision dépend d'une information privée détenue par l'entrepreneur mais observable par l'investisseur à un certain coût. Les deux partenaires s'entendent sur un système de gouvernance incluant un partage des cash-flow futurs et une allocation du contrôle sur la décision contingentement à l'investissement. L'article montre que le contrôle doit être confié à l'entrepreneur pour des niveaux d'investissement faible, mais qu'il doit être transféré à l'investisseur lorsque l'investissement dépasse un certain seuil.
    JEL: G24 G32 L22
    Date: 2004

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