nep-bec New Economics Papers
on Business Economics
Issue of 2024‒05‒13
nine papers chosen by
Vasileios Bougioukos, London South Bank University

  1. Does gender of firm ownership matter? Female entrepreneurs and the gender pay gap By Kritikos, Alexander S.; Maliranta, Mika; Nippala, Veera; Nurmi, Satu
  2. The changing landscape of firm-level productivity – anatomy and policy implications By Stephen Roper
  3. The Impact of Immigration on Firms and Workers: Insights from the H-1B Lottery By Mahajan, Parag; Morales, Nicolas; Shih, Kevin Y.; Chen, Mingyu; Brinatti, Agostina
  4. Productivity, Innovation and R&D By Richard A. L. Jones
  5. Differences in On-the-Job Learning across Firms By Jaime Arellano-Bover; Fernando Saltiel
  6. Immigration and the skill premium By Alessia Lo Turco; Daniela Maggioni; Federico Trionfetti
  7. Tracking Real Time Layoffs with SEC Filings: A Preliminary Investigation By Leland D. Crane; Emily Green; Molly Harnish; Will McClennan; Paul E. Soto; Betsy Vrankovich; Jacob Williams
  8. Strategic Dynamism, Internal Capabilities and Firm Performance By Arrighetti, Alessandro; Costa, Stefano; De Santis, Stefano; Landini, Fabio
  9. Automation and flexible labor contracts: Firm-level evidence from Italy By Traverso, Silvio; Vatiero, Massimiliano; Zaninotto, Enrico

  1. By: Kritikos, Alexander S.; Maliranta, Mika; Nippala, Veera; Nurmi, Satu
    Abstract: We examine how the gender of business-owners is related to the wages paid to female relative to male employees working in their firms. Using Finnish register data and employing firm fixed effects, we find that the gender pay gap is - starting from a gender pay gap of 11 to 12 percent - two to three percentage-points lower for hourly wages in female-owned firms than in male-owned firms. Results are robust to how the wage is measured, as well as to various further robustness checks. More importantly, we find substantial differences between industries. While, for instance, in the manufacturing sector, the gender of the owner plays no role for the gender pay gap, in several service sector industries, like ICT or business services, no or a negligible gender pay gap can be found, but only when firms are led by female business owners. Businesses in male ownership maintain a gender pay gap of around 10 percent also in the latter industries. With increasing firm size, the influence of the gender of the owner, however, fades. In large firms, it seems that others - firm managers - determine wages and no differences in the pay gap are observed between male- and female-owned firms.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Gender Pay Gap, Discrimination, Linked employer-employee data
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71 L26 M13
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Stephen Roper (Enteprise Research Centre, University of Warwick)
    Keywords: Productivity, firm-level
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Mahajan, Parag (University of Delaware); Morales, Nicolas (Richmond Fed); Shih, Kevin Y. (Queens College, CUNY); Chen, Mingyu (IZA); Brinatti, Agostina (University of Michigan)
    Abstract: We study how random variation in the availability of highly educated, foreign-born workers impacts firm performance and recruitment behavior. We combine two rich data sources: 1) administrative employer-employee matched data from the US Census Bureau; and 2) firmlevel information on the first large-scale H-1B visa lottery in 2007. Using an event-study approach, we find that lottery wins lead to increases in firm hiring of college-educated, immigrant labor along with increases in scale and survival. These effects are stronger for small, skill-intensive, and high-productivity firms that participate in the lottery. We do not find evidence for displacement of native-born, college-educated workers at the firm level, on net. However, this result masks dynamics among more specific subgroups of incumbents that we further elucidate.
    Keywords: immigration, firm dynamics, productivity, H-1B visa, high-skilled migration
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2024–04
  4. By: Richard A. L. Jones (The University of Manchester)
    Keywords: Productivity, firm-level
    Date: 2023–11
  5. By: Jaime Arellano-Bover; Fernando Saltiel
    Abstract: We present evidence that is consistent with large disparities across firms in their on-the-job learning opportunities, using administrative datasets from Brazil and Italy. We categorize firms into discrete “classes”—which our conceptual framework interprets as skill-learning classes—using a clustering methodology that groups together firms with similar distributions of unexplained wage growth. Mincerian returns to experience vary widely across experiences acquired in different firm classes. Four tests leveraging firm stayers and movers, occupation and industry switchers, hiring wages, and displaced workers point towards a portable and general human capital interpretation. Heterogeneous employment experiences explain an important share of wage variance by age 35, thus contributing to shape wage inequality. Firms’ observable attributes only mildly predict on-the-job learning opportunities.
    Keywords: human capital, firms, on-the-job learning, wage growth
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2024
  6. By: Alessia Lo Turco (Università Politecnica delle Marche); Daniela Maggioni (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore); Federico Trionfetti (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France)
    Abstract: Data on EU economies show no correlation between low-skilled immigration and the skill premium. We rationalise this evidence in a model where firms face search and screening costs. Low-skilled immigration diminishes the relative benefit of screening skilled workers, leading to a decline in their relative ability within the firm and an undetermined impact on the skill premium. On region-sector and firm level data from 2008 to 2013, we find that low-skilled immigration in Italian regions has reduced skill intensity without affecting the skill premium. Using proxies for workers’ ability and screening activity, we provide supporting evidence for the theorised mechanisms.
    Keywords: matching, screening, skill-intensity, factor relative ability
    JEL: F22 J61 F16 D24
    Date: 2024–04
  7. By: Leland D. Crane; Emily Green; Molly Harnish; Will McClennan; Paul E. Soto; Betsy Vrankovich; Jacob Williams
    Abstract: We explore a new source of data on layoffs: timely 8-K filings with the Securities and and Exchange Commission. We develop measures of both the number of reported layoff events and the number of affected workers. These series are highly correlated with the business cycle and other layoff indicators. Linking firm-level reported layoff events with WARN notices suggests that 8-K filings are sometimes available before WARN notices, and preliminary regression results suggest our layoff series are useful for forecasting. We also document the industry composition of the data and specific areas where the industry shares diverge.
    Keywords: Forecasting; Labor markets; Large language models; Alternative data; Natural language processing; Layoffs
    JEL: E24 G28 J21 M51 C81
    Date: 2024–04–11
  8. By: Arrighetti, Alessandro; Costa, Stefano; De Santis, Stefano; Landini, Fabio
    Abstract: The drivers of firm success in hyper-competitive markets have received growing attention by economic and management scholars. While earlier works paid particular attention to the analysis of firm strategic positioning in markets, most recent approaches emphasized the importance of internal capabilities. This paper combines these two views in a unified approach through a new conceptual construct, strategic dynamism, that we consider as “antecedent” of performance and “descendant” of capabilities. By using a large and unique survey carried out by the Italian Institute of Statistics we document that a) strategic dynamism explains performance differentials among firms, as captured by labor productivity growth and b) internal capabilities, measured as organizational and personnel capabilities, are important drivers of strategic dynamism. Managerial and policy implications are discussed.
    Keywords: strategy, capabilities, performance, , organizational capability, personnel capability
    JEL: D21 D22 J24
    Date: 2024
  9. By: Traverso, Silvio; Vatiero, Massimiliano; Zaninotto, Enrico
    Abstract: This study examines the association between investments in automation technologies and employment outcomes at the firm level, utilizing a panel dataset of about 10, 450 Italian firms. Focusing on the proliferation of non-standard, flexible labor contracts introduced by labor market reforms in the 2000s, we identify a positive relationship between automation investments and the adoption of flexible labor arrangements. With the aid of a conceptual framework, we interpret these findings as evidence of complementarity between flexible capital, represented by automation technologies, and flexible labor, manifested through non-standard contractual arrangements. This complementarity is crucial for enhancing operational flexibility, a critical determinant of firm performance in the modern market environment. However, while this adaptability is beneficial for firms, it raises concerns about job security, the potential for lower wages among workers, and the reduction of workers' incentives to invest in human capital. In terms of policy implications, our analysis underscores the need for measures that safeguard workers' interests without compromising the efficiency gains from automation.
    Keywords: Automation, Labor Contracts, Flexible Capital, Flexible Labor
    JEL: D20 J30 J41 K31
    Date: 2024

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