nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2005‒06‒05
six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. New Firms Evolving in the Knowledge Economy; problems and solutions around turning points. By E. Stam; E. Garnsey
  2. Optimal unemployment insurance design: time limits, monitoring, or workfare? By Fredriksson, Peter; Holmlund, Bertil
  3. Does Parental Leave Affect Fertility and Return-to-Work? Evidence from a "True Natural Experiment" By Rafael Lalive; Josef Zweimüller
  4. Parental Leave - A Policy Evaluation of the Swedish "Daddy-Month" Reform By John Ekberg; Rickard Eriksson; Guido Friebel
  5. Organizational and Cognitive Duality of the firm with community concept By Frédéric CREPLET; Olivier DUPOUET; Francis KERN; Francis MUNIER
  6. Wealth Heterogeneity and Escape from the Poverty-Environment Trap By Masako Ikefuji; Ryo Horii

  1. By: E. Stam; E. Garnsey
    Abstract: This paper explores and explains the emergence and growth of new firms in the knowledge economy. The resource-based view, capabilities approach, and evolutionary economics are used as a foundation for a developmental approach. The development of the firm is conceptualized in terms of processes that include opportunity recognition, resource mobilization, resource generation and resource accumulation, which lead to the development of competences and capital in a base made up of productive, commercial and financial resources. Problems originating within or outside the firm may deplete the productive, commercial and asset base, leading to turning points in the life course of these firms. These have negative consequences when problems are not solved, but positive consequences when they lead to new solutions and the development of new competence. The empirical study shows that even in an elite sample of young fast-growing firms, most firms face turning points in their life course, and thus do not grow in a continuous way. The study shows that quantitative growth indicators do not always reveal growth problems that have been faced by new firms. Some problems do not negatively affect the employment growth of the firm, and other problems are solved before growth stagnates. The qualitative analysis shows that young firms are almost always in disequilibrium: there is almost never a perfect match between the constituents of their resource base, between input resources and requirements for expansion. This explains why continuous growth is so unlikely. Although every firm seems to grow in a unique manner, there is evidence for the presence of a limited set of necessary mechanisms for the growth of (new) firms, which work out in particular ways given the specific context and history of these firms.
    Keywords: New firms, firm growth, theory of the firm, resource based view, firm life course, organizational crises, knowledge economy
    JEL: D21 D92 L23 M13 M21
  2. By: Fredriksson, Peter (IFAU - Institute for Labour Market Policy Evaluation); Holmlund, Bertil (Uppsala University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses crucial design features of unemployment insurance (UI) policies. We examine three different means of improving the efficiency of UI: the duration of benefit payments, monitoring in conjunction with sanctions, and workfare. To that end we develop a quantitative model of equilibrium unemployment. The model features worker heterogeneity in preferences for leisure. The numerical analysis suggests that a system with monitoring and sanctions restores search incentives most effectively, since it brings additional incentives to search actively so as to avoid the sanction. Therefore, the UI provider can offer a more generous UI replacement rate in a system with monitoring and sanctions than in the other two systems. Workfare appears to be inferior to the other two systems.
    Keywords: Unemployment insurance; search equilibrium; time limits; monitoring and sanctions; workfare
    JEL: J64 J68
    Date: 2005–05–12
  3. By: Rafael Lalive (University of Zurich, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Josef Zweimüller (University of Zurich, CEPR, CESifo and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: We study the causal effects of changes in parental leave provisions on fertility and return-towork behavior. We exploit a policy change that took place in 1990 in Austria which extended the maximum duration of parental leave from the child’s first to the child’s second birthday. As parental leave benefits can be automatically renewed when a new mother is still on leave from a previous child, this created a strong incentive to "bunch" the time off work in case of multiple planned children and/or to increase fertility. We study the quantitative effect of this incentive using an empirical strategy which resembles a true experimental set-up very closely. In particular, assignment to treatment is random and treated and controls face (almost) identical environmental conditions. We find that treated mothers have a 4.9 percentage points (or 15 percent) higher probability to get an additional child within the following three years; and a 3.9 percentage points higher probability in the following ten years. This suggests that not only the timing but also the number of children were affected by the policy change. We also find that parental leave rules have a strong effect on mothers’ return-to-work behavior. Per additional months of maximum parental leave duration, mothers’ time off work is reduced by 0.4 to 0.5 months. The effects of a subsequent policy change in 1996 when maximum parental leave duration was reduced from the child’s second birthday to the date when the child became 18 months old brought about no change in fertility behavior, but a labor supply effect that is comparable in magnitude to the one generated by the 1990 policy change. This can be rationalized by the incentives created through automatic benefit renewal.
    Keywords: parental leave, fertility, pro-natalist policy, family and work obligations, return to work, labor supply
    JEL: J13 J18 J22
    Date: 2005–05
  4. By: John Ekberg (SOFI, Stockholm University); Rickard Eriksson (SOFI, Stockholm University); Guido Friebel (University of Toulouse (EHESS and IDEI), CEPR and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Many countries are trying to incentivize fathers to increase their share in parental leave and in household work to improve female labor market opportunities. Our unique data set stems from a natural experiment in Sweden. The data comprises all children born before (control group) and after the reform (treatment group) in cohorts of up to 27,000 newborns, mothers and fathers. We find strong short term effects of incentives on male parental leave. However, we find no learning-by doing, or specialization, effects: fathers in the treatment group do not have larger shares in the leave taken for care of sick children, which is our measure for household work.
    Keywords: natural experiment, family benefits, gender and labor, incentives
    JEL: J48 J13 J16 J22
    Date: 2005–05
  5. By: Frédéric CREPLET; Olivier DUPOUET; Francis KERN; Francis MUNIER
    Abstract: On the basis of the recent concepts of epistemic communities and communities of practice, we show that the firm can be defined according to a form of double duality: cognitive and organisational. The interest of this approach is to put ahead the differentiated behavior from the manager and the entrepreneur inside the firm. It also puts in light the important questions concerning the organisational tensions under the vision of the knowledge-based economies.
    Keywords: Creation of knowledge - Learning process - Routines – Community of Practice – Epistemic Community – Knowledge conversion modes – Knowledge management
    JEL: L20 L21 L23 M11 M12 M13 M14
    Date: 2004
  6. By: Masako Ikefuji (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University); Ryo Horii (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University)
    Abstract: A mutual link between poverty and environmental degradation is examined in an overlapping generations model with environmental externality, human capital, and credit constraints. Environmental quality affects labor productivity and thus wealth dynamics, whereas wealth distribution determines the degree to which agents rely upon natural resources and therefore the evolution of environmental quality. This interaction creates a epoverty-environment trap,' where a deteriorated environment lowers income, which in turn accelerates environmental degradation. We show that greater wealth heterogeneity is the key to escaping the poverty-environment trap, although it has negative effects both on the environment and output when not in the trap.
    Keywords: Poverty trap, Environmental degradation, Wealth distribution, Human capital.
    JEL: O11 O13 O15
    Date: 2005–05

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