nep-bec New Economics Papers
on Business Economics
Issue of 2006‒09‒11
fourteen papers chosen by
Christian Calmes
Universite du Quebec en Outaouais

  1. Human Resource Management And The Search For The Happy Workplace By Peccei, R.
  2. Volatility and Dispersion in Business Growth Rates: Publicly Traded Versus Privately Held Firms By Stephen Davis; John Haltiwanger; Ron Jarmin; Javier Miranda
  3. The Event-History Approach to Program Evaluation By Jaap H. Abbring
  4. The Dynamics of Plant-Level Productivity in U.S. Manufacturing By Arpad Abraham; Kirk White
  5. Do Wages Compensate for Anticipated Working Time Restrictions? Evidence from Seasonal Employment in Austria By Emilia Del Bono; Andrea Weber
  6. Compétitivité structurelle By Marcus Dejardin
  7. Corporate Governance, Crony capitalism and Economic Crisis: Should the US Business Model replace the Asian Way of 'Doing Business'? By Ajit Singh; Ann Zammit
  8. Why Do Contracts Differ between VC Types? Market Segmentation versus Corporate Governance Varieties By Julia Hirsch; Uwe Walz
  9. Starting Anew: Entrepreneurial Intentions and Realizations Subsequent to Business Closure By Schutjens, V.; Stam, E.
  10. An Integrated Approach to Single-Leg Airline Revenue Management: The Role of Robust Optimization By Birbil, S.I.; Frenk, J.B.G.; Gromicho, J.A.S.; Zhang, S.
  11. Renascent Entrepreneurship By Stam, E.; Audretsch, D.B.; Meijaard, J.
  12. Much Ado About Nothing: A conceptual critique of CSR By Oosterhout, J. van; Heugens, P.P.M.A.R.
  13. Enterprise Ground Zero in China By Krug, B.
  14. Complex Incremental Product Innovation in Established Service Firms: A Micro Institutional Perspective By Vermeulen, P.A.M.; Bosch, F.A.J. van den; Volberda, H.W.

  1. By: Peccei, R. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: The analysis of the impact of human resource (HR) practices on employee well-being at work is an important yet relatively neglected area of inquiry within the field of human resource management (HRM). In this inaugural address, the main findings from ongoing research based on data from the 1998 British Workplace Employee Relations Survey (WERS98) are presented. These suggest that the HR practices that are adopted by organisations have a significant impact on the well-being of their workforces and that this impact tends, on the whole, to be more positive than negative. The effects, however, are more complex than is normally assumed in the literature. In particular, preliminary results indicate that the constellation of HR practices that help to maximise employee well-being (i.e. that make for happy workplaces), are not necessarily the same as those that make up the type of ‘High Performance Work Systems’ commonly identified in the literature. This has important theoretical, policy and ethical implications for the field of HRM. These are discussed along with important directions for future research.
    Keywords: human resource management;HRM;human resource ractices;employee well-being;job satisfaction;job stress;happy workplaces;HR;
    Date: 2004–01–15
  2. By: Stephen Davis; John Haltiwanger; Ron Jarmin; Javier Miranda
    Abstract: We study the variability of business growth rates in the U.S. private sector from 1976 onwards. To carry out our study, we exploit the recently developed Longitudinal Business Database (LBD), which contains annual observations on employment and payroll for all U.S. businesses. Our central finding is a large secular decline in the cross sectional dispersion of firm growth rates and in the average magnitude of firm level volatility. Measured the same way as in other recent research, the employment-weighted mean volatility of firm growth rates has declined by more than 40% since 1982. This result stands in sharp contrast to previous findings of rising volatility for publicly traded firms in COMPUSTAT data. We confirm the rise in volatility among publicly traded firms using the LBD, but we show that its impact is overwhelmed by declining volatility among privately held firms. This pattern holds in every major industry group. Employment shifts toward older businesses account for 27 percent or more of the volatility decline among privately held firms. Simple cohort effects that capture higher volatility among more recently listed firms account for most of the volatility rise among publicly traded firms.
    Keywords: Firm Volatility, Employment Growth, Publicly traded, LBD, longitudinal microdata
    Date: 2006–07
  3. By: Jaap H. Abbring (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper studies the event-history approach to microeconometric program evaluation. We present a mixed semi-Markov event-history model, discuss its application to program evaluation, and analyze its empirical content. The results of this paper provide fundamental insights in what can be learned from longitudinal micro data about, for example, the effects of training programs for the unemployed on their unemployment durations and subsequent job stability. They can guide the choice of particular models and methods for the empirical analysis of such effects.
    Keywords: event-history analysis; identifiability; mixed semi-Markov model; program evaluation
    JEL: C14 C31 C41
    Date: 2006–07–03
  4. By: Arpad Abraham; Kirk White
    Abstract: Using a unique database that covers the entire U.S. manufacturing sector from 1976 until 1999, we estimate plant-level total factor productivity for a large number of plants. We characterize time series properties of plant-level idiosyncratic shocks to productivity, taking into account aggregate manufacturing-sector shocks and industry-level shocks. Plant-level heterogeneity and shocks are a key determinant of the cross-sectional variations in output. We compare the persistence and volatility of the idiosyncratic plant-level shocks to those of aggregate productivity shocks estimated from aggregate data. We find that the persistence of plant level shocks is surprisingly low-we estimate an average autocorrelation of the plantspecific productivity shock of only 0.37 to 0.41 on an annual basis. Finally, we find that estimates of the persistence of productivity shocks from aggregate data have a large upward bias. Estimates of the persistence of productivity shocks in the same data aggregated to the industry level produce autocorrelation estimates ranging from 0.80 to 0.91 on an annual basis. The results are robust to the inclusion of various measures of lumpiness in investment and job flows, different weighting methods, and different measures of the plants’ capital stocks.
    Keywords: productivity, manufacturing, microdata
    JEL: D24 L6 O47
    Date: 2006–07
  5. By: Emilia Del Bono (Institute for Social and Economic Research); Andrea Weber (Institute of Advanced Studies, Vienna)
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the existence of compensating wage differentials across seasonal and non seasonal jobs, which arise due to anticipated working time restrictions. We build on a theoretical model by Abowd and Ashenfelter (1981), which links the compensating wage differential to variation in individual unemployment through the effect of the unemployment insurance and the compensated labor supply elasticity. Since the Austrian labor market is characterized by an unusually high share of seasonal employment, our data provides the ideal setting in which to empirically test this model. We use the very rich information contained in the Austrian administrative records to derive a flexible definition of seasonal employment based on observed regularities in employment patterns. We find that employers pay on average a positive wage differential of about 11% for seasonal jobs and that the unemployment insurance system contributes a similar amount.
    Keywords: employer-employee data, non-standard employment
    Date: 2006–07
  6. By: Marcus Dejardin (FUNDP - Facultés Universitaires Notre-Dame de la Paix - [Faculté des Sciences économiques, sociales et de gestion])
    Abstract: L'article est à paraître dans la revue Reflets et perspectives de la vie économique. Il introduit le numéro consacré au thème de la compétitivité structurelle (RPVE, Tome XLV, n°1, 2006). La notion de compétitivité structurelle y est d'abord distinguée de manière schématique de la notion de compétitivité en prix. Vient ensuite un aperçu des contributions. L'article se conclut en se faisant très brièvement l'écho de l'actualité sociopolitique belge en matière de compétitivité.
    Keywords: compétitivité, compétitivité structurelle, compétitivité en prix
    Date: 2006–09–02
  7. By: Ajit Singh; Ann Zammit
    Abstract: This paper considers the Greenspan/Summers/IMF (GSI) argument that the Asian way of doing business was the deep cause of the Asian crisis. The IMF reform programme for the crisis-affected Asian countries suggested they should abandon the Asian business model and adopt the US corporate model. The main findings are: a) contrary to GSI doctrine, poor corporate governance and lack of competition are not common characteristics of the Asian business model; b) that the stock-market based US business model has severe limitations for developing country corporations, not least because of imperfect share prices and the imperfect market for corporate control.
    Keywords: Asian and US corporate models; stock markets; Asian crisis
    JEL: D21 G3 O1
    Date: 2006–06
  8. By: Julia Hirsch (University of Frankfurt); Uwe Walz (University of Frankfurt)
    Abstract: The main objective of the present paper is to disentangle observed differences in the design of contracts across VC types into firm selection effects and corporate governance differences between VC types (different contracts). Based on a theoretical approach developed in the first part of the paper, we investigate in the second part these issues empirically by using a unique, hand-collected German data set consisting of all contractual details of VC investments into 290 entrepreneurial firms in the period 1990-2004. By employing various matching procedures, we show that VC types differ in both firm choice and corporate governance approach.
    Keywords: Venture Capital, Corporate Governance, Matching, Contract Design
    JEL: G24 G32 G34
    Date: 2006–05–19
  9. By: Schutjens, V.; Stam, E. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: We know that most businesses fail. But what is not known is to what extent failed ex-entrepreneurs set up in business again. The objective of this article is to explore potential and realized serial entrepreneurship. Based on three disciplines – psychology, labour economics, and the sociology of careers – we formulated propositions to explain (potential) serial entrepreneurship. We tested these propositions empirically with a longitudinal database of 79 businesses that had closed within 5 years after start-up. A large majority of the ex-entrepreneurs maintained entrepreneurial intentions subsequent to business closure, while almost one in four business closures were followed by a new business (serial entrepreneurship). Our results show that the determinants of restart intention (potential serial entrepreneurship) and actual restart realization (realized serial entrepreneurship) are different. Ex-entrepreneurs who are young, who worked full-time in their prior business, and who recall their business management experience positively are likely to harbour restart intentions. Only ‘being located in an urban region’ transpired to have a significant effect on the start of a new business. Although entrepreneurial intentions are a necessary condition for the start of a new business, this study shows that the explanation of entrepreneurial intentions is distinct from the explanation of new business formation subsequent to business closure.
    Keywords: Serial Entrepreneurship;Business Closure;Entrepreneurial Intentions;New Business Formation;The Netherlands;
    Date: 2006–03–29
  10. By: Birbil, S.I.; Frenk, J.B.G.; Gromicho, J.A.S.; Zhang, S. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: In this paper we introduce robust versions of the classical static and dynamic single leg seat allocation models as analyzed by Wollmer, and Lautenbacher and Stidham, respectively. These robust models take into account the inaccurate estimates of the underlying probability distributions. As observed by simulation experiments it turns out that for these robust versions the variability compared to their classical counter parts is considerably reduced with a negligible decrease of average revenue.
    Keywords: Airline Revenue Management;Single-Leg Problems;Static Models;Dynamic Models;Robust Optimization;
    Date: 2006–06–10
  11. By: Stam, E.; Audretsch, D.B.; Meijaard, J. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Why should individuals that have exited their firm consider re-entering into entrepreneurship, i.e. become renascent entrepreneurs? According to the logic of economic models of firm dynamics there is no reason to re-enter into entrepreneurship following termination of a previous firm. In contrast, research on nascent entrepreneurship has shown the positive effect of entrepreneurial experience on planning a new firm start. Based on the empirical evidence from a database consisting of ex-entrepreneurs, this study shows that renascent entrepreneurship is a pervasive phenomenon in current society. Especially entrepreneurial human and social capital induce renascent entrepreneurship. In addition, the nature of the firm exit also affects the probability of renascent entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurial Preferences;Entrepreneurial Skills;Firm Exit;Renascent Entrepreneurship;Economics of Entrepreneurship;
    Date: 2006–03–29
  12. By: Oosterhout, J. van; Heugens, P.P.M.A.R. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a nominal term clearly resonates with scholars and practitioners alike. As a scientific concept, however, it has often been criticized for its lack of definitional precision and poor measurement. In this paper we review and assess intensional and extensional definitions of the concept, as they have figured in the prior CSR literature. But we also go beyond these traditional review exercises by assessing the role (if any) of the concept in positive theorizing. The upshot of this analysis is that since the CSR concept adds nothing of value to existing frameworks in the field of management and organization, such as the economizing and legitimizing perspectives, it is best to discard it altogether.
    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility;Corporate Social Performance;Intensional Definitions;Extensional Definitions;Positive Theorizing;Economizing;Legitimizing;
    Date: 2006–08–14
  13. By: Krug, B. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: The paper claims that the analysis of the private business sector needs to concentrate on entrepreneurship. Based on fieldwork the paper proceeds by describing how Chinese entrepreneurs perceive the (economic) problems whose solutions pre-determine the economic performance of new firms. Entrepreneurship takes the form of institution building by which the high transaction costs can be mitigated and the value of assets and contracts be protected. The empirical research identified corporate governance, incentive contracts, local autonomy and networking as the crucial “hybrids†for mobilising investment and limiting moral hazard.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship;Chinese Business Sector;Local Autonomy;Networking;
    Date: 2006–06–30
  14. By: Vermeulen, P.A.M.; Bosch, F.A.J. van den; Volberda, H.W. (Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), RSM Erasmus University)
    Abstract: Many product innovation studies have described key determinants that should lead to successful incremental product innovation. Despite numerous studies suggesting how incremental product innovation should be successfully undertaken, many firms still struggle with this type of innovation. In this paper, we use an institutional perspective to investigate why established firms in the financial services industry struggle with their complex incremental product innovation efforts. We argue that although the impact of micro institutional forces is often overlooked in innovation studies, these forces matter for innovation success. Our study complements the existing innovation literature and provides an additional explanation why incremental product innovation is highly complex and suffers from several liabilities in established firms. Using qualitative data from the Dutch financial services sector collected over the period 1997-2002, the paper illustrates how micro institutional forces at the business unit level affect complex incremental product innovation and how the interaction of these forces delivers their impact.
    Keywords: Complex Incremental Product Innovation;Neo-Institutional Theory;Micro Institutional Forces;Financial Services Sector;
    Date: 2006–07–24

This nep-bec issue is ©2006 by Christian Calmes. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.