nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2006‒08‒05
fifteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Universita degli Studi di Roma, La Sapienza

  1. Human capital, growth and convergence traps: Implications from a cross-country analysis By Stamatakis, D.; Petrakis, P.E.
  2. Who invests in training if contracts are temporary? - Empirical evidence for Germany using selection correction By Jan Sauermann
  3. Knowledge economy, learning society and lifelong learning : a review of the French literature By Philippe Méhaut
  5. Learning-by-Doing with Spillovers in Competitive Industries, Free Entry, and Regulatory Policy By Bläsi, Albrecht; Requate, Till
  6. Earnings of young doctorates in private jobs after participation to post-doctoral programs By Isabelle Recotillet
  7. Quality of schooling and quality of schools for indigenous students in Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru By Hernandez-Zavala, Martha; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Sakellariou, Chris; Shapiro, Joseph
  8. Why to get a 2nd diploma? Is it life-long learning or the outcome of state intervention in educational choices? By Júlia Varga
  9. Inequality and Heterogeneous Returns to Education in Mexico (1992-2002) By Mehta, Aashish; Villarreal, Hector J.
  10. Broadening Access to Primary Education: Contract Teacher Programs and Their Impact on Education Outcomes in Africa – An Econometric Evaluation for Niger By Jean Bourdon; Markus Frölich; Katharina Michaelowa
  11. Choice, Competition and Pupil Achievement By Stephen Gibbons; Stephen Machin; Olmo Silva
  12. Interjurisdictional Competition for Higher Education and Firms By Marcel Gérard; Fernando Ruiz
  13. Forecasting the skills needs and developing the coordination between actors : statements and comments By Philippe Méhaut
  14. Social Disparities in Education in Sub-Saharan African Countries : Gender, geographical location and family income By Alain Mingat
  15. Human Capital Accumulation in a Stochastic Environment: Some New Results on the Relationship Between Growth and Volatility By K Blackburn; D Varvarigos

  1. By: Stamatakis, D.; Petrakis, P.E.
    Abstract: This article, adapted from Tamura’s theoretical proposition, empirically investigates capital convergence in three country groups belonging to significantly different development categories: G7, developed and developing. Human capital evaluation, in this context, goes beyond enrolment and/or attainment rates. In addition to enrolments and government spending, alternative factors determining human capital effectiveness synthesize an idea of enhanced human capital proxy. Empirical results indicate moderate evidence of convergence among the three-country groups when conventional variables are included. The convergence “picture” is quite different when additional variables are empirically examined, implying the existence of a “convergence trap” caused by initial endowments on human capital.
    Keywords: advanced (OECD), developed (OECD), developing (world), USA, Mexico, Mauritius (as examples of each of the above), human capital, convergence,
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Jan Sauermann
    Abstract: This study deals with the effect of fixed-term contracts on work-related training. Though previous studies found a negative effect of fixed-term contracts on the participation in training, from the theoretical point of view it is not clear whether workers with fixed-term contracts receive less or more training, compared to workers with permanent contracts. In addition to the existing strand of literature, we especially distinguish between employer- and employee-financed training in order to allow for diverging investment patterns of worker and firm. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP), we estimate a bivariate probit model to control for selection effects that may arise from unobservable factors, affecting both participation in training and holding fixed-term contracts. Finding negative effects for employer-sponsored, as well as for employee-sponsored training, leads us to conclude that workers with fixed-term contracts do not compensate for lower firm investments.
    Keywords: training, fixed-term contracts, bivariate probit model
    JEL: C35 J24 J42
    Date: 2006–07
  3. By: Philippe Méhaut (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II])
    Abstract: In this article, we propose the hypothesis that “the Learning society” is more a political slogan and prospect than a social reality (In France, as in most OECD countries, public investment in formal education and training has actually decreased since the OECD started talking about lifelong learning). And there is no agreement as to what a future “learning society” should be. Firstly, the framework of knowledge economy has not yet been defined and analysts remain divided on the issue: is it (or will be) an extension of a deregulated, market economy and society, or a more regulated capitalist economy? Should knowledge be considered as a public good or as a marketable one (section 1). Secondly, the consequences of the resulting economic changes for workers and for citizens are unclear. Although most studies acknowledge the development of new (net) work organizations, of new skill requirements and of new opportunities for learning, some studies also emphasize new risks of economic and social exclusion (section 2). And the French specificities are particularly marked in terms of education and lifelong learning strategies. (section 3). Although lifelong learning strategies are sometimes explicitly (but more often implicitly) related to the prospect of a Knowledge Economy, part of the debate is purely endogenous to the educational sphere and initial education and further education remain separated.
    Keywords: FPC - Formation professionnelle continue; Projet de formation; Politique de l'éducation; Accréditation; Formation tout au long de la vie; Economie de la connaissance; France; Revue de la littérature
    Date: 2006–07–17
  4. By: Lilia Maliar (Universidad de Alicante); Serguei Maliar (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: We construct a general-equilibrium version of Krusell, Ohanian, Ríos-Rulland Violante’s (2000) model with capital-skill complementarity. To account forgrowth patterns observed in the data, we assume several sources of growthsimultaneously, specifically, exogenous growth of skilled and unskilled labor,equipment-specific technological progress, skilled and unskilled labor-augmentingtechnological progress and Hicks-neutral technological progress. We deriverestrictions that make our model consistent with steady-state growth. A calibratedversion of our model is able to account for the key growth patterns in the U.S. data,including those for capital equipment and structures, skilled and unskilled laborand output, but it fails to explain the long-run behavior of the skill premium.
    Keywords: capital-skill complementarity, steady state growth, skill premium, growth model.
    JEL: C73 D90 E21
    Date: 2006–07
  5. By: Bläsi, Albrecht; Requate, Till
    Abstract: We study the impact of learning-by-doing with spillovers in competitive markets with free market entry. Within a two period model, we consider first the case where fixed costs are incurred only once, and entry is once and for all. In the second case fixed costs are incurred in each period, and both market exit after the first period and late entry in the second period is possible. For the first case first best allocations can only be decentralized by subsidizing output in the first period and additionally paying an entry premium. If exit and late entry are possible and if market exit by some firms is socially optimal, the optimal policy scheme requires a nonlinear output subsidy which serves to discriminate between exiting and staying firms. We further investigate the comparative statics effects of the different policy instruments.
    Keywords: learning-by-doing, spillovers, regulatory policy
    JEL: H23 L11
    Date: 2005
  6. By: Isabelle Recotillet (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II])
    Abstract: In this paper, we address the question of destination of post-doctorates for young French PhD graduated in exact sciences in 1996. The creation of post-doctoral program was firstly designated to PhD willing to embark on a public career. However, an important part of post-doctorates rather get to the private sector, particularly outside research positions. The question that occurs is that of the value of post-doctoral experience. We propose here to estimate earnings of young doctorates in private jobs had they participated to a post-doctoral program. To control for selection bias arising in the case where unobservable elements are correlated between participation and earnings, we estimate a treatment effect model. The main finding is that when selection bias is not control for, post-doctoral participation increases earnings, however, when controlling for selection bias, there is no more a positive effect of the participation. As regards to this finding we point out that post-doctoral program play much more the role of a signal in the first-stage career. This finding is also strengthened when using a bivariate selection rule. In that case, we also control for the endogenous nature of having been recruited in the private sector.
    Keywords: Doctorat; Insertion professionnelle; Sciences dures; Secteur privé; France
    Date: 2006–07–17
  7. By: Hernandez-Zavala, Martha; Patrinos, Harry Anthony; Sakellariou, Chris; Shapiro, Joseph
    Abstract: A substantial gap in test scores exists between indigenous and non-indigenous students in Latin America. Using test score data for 3rd and 4th year primary school pupils in Guatemala and Peru, and 5th grade pupils in Mexico, the authors assess the magnitude of the indigenous and non-indigenous test score gap and identify the main family and school inputs contributing to the gap. A decomposition of the gap into its constituent components suggests that the proportion that is explained by family and school characteristics is between 41 and 75 percent of the overall test-score gap. Furthermore, family variables contribute more than school variables to the overall explained component.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Primary Education,Teaching and Learning,Education For All
    Date: 2006–08–01
  8. By: Júlia Varga (Budapest Corvinus University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the determinants and labour market effects of further higher education studies of graduates, the factors that induce them to switch to other fields (switching decision) and in comparison the determinants of deciding upon “deepening” their knowledge (to proceed with further higher educational studies in the original field of study) and its labour market consequences. Based on data from a follow-up survey of Hungarian Higher Education Graduates the paper demonstrates that graduates who obtained their first diploma in other than their most preferred field specialisation are more likely to participate in further higher education studies and to switch to another field. In addition, this paper finds some evidence that those, who switch fields, lose a part of their human capital in the short run. The results suggest that state intervention in the supply of field specialities in higher education or the inelasticity of these supplies may lead to further higher education studies of graduates and to a wastage of resources.
    Keywords: demand for schooling, human capital
    JEL: I22 J24 J44 J62
    Date: 2006–07–17
  9. By: Mehta, Aashish; Villarreal, Hector J.
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Jean Bourdon (IREDU - Institut de recherche sur l'éducation : Sociologie et Economie de l'Education - [CNRS : FRE5211] - [Université de Bourgogne]); Markus Frölich (UCL - University College London - [London's Global University]); Katharina Michaelowa (HWWA - Hamburg Institute of International Economics - [Hamburgisches Welts-Wirtschafts Archiv])
    Abstract: For Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole, but particularly for countries in the Sahel zone, full primary enrolment and completion at acceptable quality as codified in the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All objectives still remains a major challenge. In order to enhance education supply, many of these countries have launched large scale teacher recruitment programs in recent years, whereby the teachers are no longer engaged in civil servant positions, but on the basis of fixed-term contracts typically implying considerably lower salaries and a sharply reduced duration of professional training. While this policy has led to a boost of primary enrolment, stakeholders in the education system generally fear an important loss in the quality of education. Using data from the "Program on the Analysis of Education Systems" (PASEC) for Niger in 2000/2001, we show that once confounding factors are controlled for, the performance of contract teachers is not generally worse than the performance of other teachers. Matching students taught by contract teachers to those taught by civil servants provides no significant evidence of an advantage of the latter in grade 5. In grade 2, there is evidence for a sizeable advantage of traditional teachers - but only as long as job experience is not appropriately taken into account. Given the strong impact on enrolment and the generally insignificant effect on education quality, the overall assessment of the program remains clearly positive.
    Keywords: Enseignant enseignement primaire ; Recrutement des enseignants ; Statut ; Contrat de travail ; Efficacité des enseignants ; Analyse économétrique ; Niger ; Afrique ; Enseignement primaire
    Date: 2006–07–17
  11. By: Stephen Gibbons (London School of Economics); Stephen Machin (University College London, London School of Economics and IZA Bonn); Olmo Silva (London School of Economics, European University Institute and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: Choice and competition in education have found growing support from both policy makers and academics in the recent past. Yet, evidence on the actual benefits of market-oriented reforms is at best mixed. Moreover, while the economic rationale for choice and competition is clear, in existing work there is rarely an attempt to distinguish between the two concepts. In this paper, we study whether pupils in Primary schools in England with a wider range of school choices achieve better academic outcomes than those whose choice is more limited; and whether Primary schools facing more competition perform better than those in a more monopolistic situation. In simple least squares regression models, we find little evidence of a link between choice and achievement, but uncover a small positive association between competition and school performance. Yet, this could be related to endogenous school location or pupil sorting. In fact, an instrumental variable strategy based on discontinuities generated by admissions district boundaries suggests that the performance gains from greater school competition are limited. Only when we restrict our attention to Faith autonomous schools, which have more freedom in managing their admission practices and governance, do we find evidence of a positive causal link between competition and pupil achievement.
    Keywords: choice, competition, primary schools, pupil achievement
    JEL: I20 H70 R5
    Date: 2006–07
  12. By: Marcel Gérard; Fernando Ruiz
    Abstract: In this paper we consider two regions competing for the larger part of the investment by a mobile firm whose decision is based on the quality of human capital in each region. This in turn depends on the initial skill level and the amount of higher education in the region, with a possible spillover to the other region. Therefore each region, through subsidies, tries to attract a larger part of the academic community. Moreover a central government or agency helps the poorer region by providing it with an extra budgetary allocation. The game is nested in a series of settings which are compared, especially from the point of view of their redistributive efficiency. From a policy point of view, the paper, in line with the subsidiarity principle, first provides an argument for allocating a significant amount of the competence in matters of human capital formation, to the central authorities. It also set forth difficulties which can arise from centralizing such an amount of competence and pleas for clear rules governing the federation, especially ruling out discretionary and opportunistic behaviors of public authorities. Finally, it shows the importance of the central government being correctly informed, including being allowed to gather information by itself.
    Keywords: higher education, interjurisdictional competition, fiscal federalism, public infrastructure
    JEL: H41 H77 I20
    Date: 2006
  13. By: Philippe Méhaut (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - [CNRS : UMR6123] - [Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I][Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II])
    Abstract: Finland and France share some common characteristics regarding the labour market situation and trends : a high level of unemployment (respectively 8.4% and 9.5%), a low rate of employment among the 55-65 and the 15-24 age groups (for the latter mainly due to a “full time” educational model), an ageing process with a growing level of retirements in the future (but with similar choices regarding the increasing age of retirement and level of provisions, and similar public policies regarding the decrease in early retirements), and young cohorts stable or slightly decreasing. In this context, forecasting labour demand and supply in the long run is a common concern, with the aim of producing some guidelines for labour market actors, for employment policy as well as for education and training policies. This paper will first outline some common trends and differences in the French experience regarding the forecasting tools. Then we will put the emphasis on common results and/or differences between the two countries. In the third part we will discuss the use of the forecasts' results mainly in the field of education and training policies.
    Keywords: Labour market; Education and training policies; Skill needs; Comparison; Finland; France
    Date: 2006–07–26
  14. By: Alain Mingat (IREDU - Institut de recherche sur l'éducation : Sociologie et Economie de l'Education - [CNRS : FRE5211] - [Université de Bourgogne], World Bank, Human Development Department, The Africa Region)
    Abstract: In this paper we have two complementary objectives: the first consists in proposing a description of the magnitude of social disparities that exist in the systems of education of Sub-Saharan African countries; we focus on recent data but we put also these data in a time perspective. The second objective aims at identifying some of the factors that may explain these disparities or the impact of the actions targeted to their reduction.
    Keywords: Social disparities ; Education ; Subsaharan Africa ; Educational policy
    Date: 2006–07–18
  15. By: K Blackburn; D Varvarigos
    Abstract: We study the relationship between growth and volatility in a simple analytical model, where human capital accumulation depends onboth deliberate and non-deliberate learning, and where stochastic fluctuations arise from both preference and technology shocks. We derive a number of new results which challenge some of the results in the existing literature. First, we show that the optimal allocations of time to working and learning are both pro-cyclical. Second, we identify a preference parameter (other than the coefficient of relative risk aversion) that is potentially crucial for governing the effect of volatility on growth. Third, we demonstrate how the correlation between growth and volatility can be either positive or negative under each type of learning. Fourth, we also reveal how the sign of the correlation may be different for the two types of shock. Our results may be seen as providing further explanation for the lack of robust evidence on the relationship.
    Date: 2006

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