nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2007‒03‒31
thirteen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. A Microfoundation for Increasing Returns in Human Capital Accumulation and the Under-Participation Trap By Alison L. Booth; Melvyn Coles
  2. American Economic Development Since the Civil War or the Virtue of Education By Fabrice Murtin
  3. The International Transferability of Immigrants’ Human Capital Skills By Barry R. Chiswick; Paul W. Miller
  4. Brain drain in developing countries By FrŽdŽric, DOCQUIER; Olivier, LOHEST; Abdeslam, MARFOUK
  5. Beyond ´revenue per head´?: human capital metrics, firm performance and the teaching of HRM in... By PILAR ROJO; CRISTINA SIMON
  6. Earnings, Schooling and Economic Reform: Econometric Evidence from Hungary (1986-2004) By Nauro F. Campos; Dean Jolliffe
  7. School drop-out and push-out factors in Brazil : the role of early parenthood, child labor, and poverty By Cardoso, Ana Rute; Verner, Dorte
  8. Segregation and the Black-White Test Score Gap By Jacob Vigdor; Jens Ludwig
  9. Ability and Employer Learning: Evidence from the Economist Labor Market By Paul Oyer
  10. Does Secondary School Tracking Affect Performance? Evidence from IALS By Kenn Ariga; Giorgio Brunello
  11. Sources of growth and convergence among Italian regions 1980-2004 By Daniele, Vittorio
  12. Does adult education at upper secondary level influence annual wage earnings? By Stenberg, Anders
  13. Total Work, Gender and Social Norms By Burda, Michael C; Hamermesh, Daniel S; Weil, Philippe

  1. By: Alison L. Booth; Melvyn Coles
    Abstract: This paper considers educational investment, wages and hours of market work in an imperfectly competitive labour market with heterogeneous workers and home production. It investigates the degree to which there might be both underemployment in the labour market and underinvestment in education. A central insight is that the ex-post participation decision of workers endogeneously generates increasing marginal returns to education. Although equilibrium implies underinvestment in education, optimal policy is not to subsidise education. Instead it is to subsidise labour market participation which we argue might be efficiently targeted as state provided childcare support.
    Keywords: Education, home production, hours of work, imperfect competition.
    JEL: H24 J13 J24 J31 J42
    Date: 2006–12
  2. By: Fabrice Murtin
    Abstract: This paper is the first empirical framework that explains the phenomenon of fast growthcombined with the demographic transition occurring in the United States since 1860. Ipropose a structural model that unifies those events through the role of education: the keyfeature is that parental education determines simultaneously fertility, mortality and children'seducation, so that the accumulation of education from one generation to another explains bothfast growth and the reduction of fertility and mortality rates. Using original data, the model isestimated and fits in a remarkable way income, the distribution of education and agepyramids. Moreover, some historical data on Blacks, assumed to constitute the bottom of thedistribution of education, show that the model predicts correctly the joint distribution offertility and education, and that of mortality and education. Comparisons with the PSIDsuggest that the intergenerational correlation of income is also well captured. Thus, thismicrofunded growth model based on human capital accumulation accounts for many traits ofAmerican economic development since 1860. In a second step, I investigate the long-runinfluence of income inequality on growth. Because children's human capital is a concavefunction of parental income, income inequality slows down the accumulation of humancapital across generations and hence growth. Simulations show that this effect is large.
    Keywords: Unified Growth Theory, Human capital, Technological Progress, Inequality andGrowth
    JEL: D31 E27 F02 N00 O40
    Date: 2006–12
  3. By: Barry R. Chiswick (University of Illinois at Chicago and IZA); Paul W. Miller (University of Western Australia and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper uses the approach in the under/over education literature to analyze the extent of matching of educational level to occupational attainment among adult native born and foreign born men in the U.S., using the 2000 Census. Overeducation is found to be more common among recent labor market entrants, while undereducation is more likely among older workers. Married men, veterans and those living in metropolitan areas are also more likely to be overeducated. Among immigrants, greater pre-immigration labor market experience is associated with poorer job matches, presumably due to the less than perfect international transferability of skills. A longer duration in the U.S., however, is associated with a lower probability of being overeducated and a greater probability of being undereducated. This is consistent with immigrants being favorably selected for occupational advancement but this effect becomes realized only after overcoming the disadvantages of the less than perfect international transferability of their pre-immigration skills.
    Keywords: immigrants, education, occupational attainment
    JEL: J24 J31 J62 F22
    Date: 2007–03
  4. By: FrŽdŽric, DOCQUIER (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics); Olivier, LOHEST; Abdeslam, MARFOUK
    Abstract: Relying on an original data set on international migration by educational attainment for 1990 and 2000, we analyze the determinants of the brain drain from developing countries. We start from a simple decomposition of the brain drain in two multiplicative components, the degree of openess of sending countries (as measured by their average emigration rate) and the schooling gap (as measured by the relative education level of emigrants compared to natives). Using various regression models, we put forward the determinants of the components and explain cross-country differences in skilled migration. unsurprisingly, the brain drain is strong in small countries which are not too distant from the major OECD regions, which share colonial links with OECD countries and which send most of their migrants to host countries where quality-selective immigration programs exist. More interestingly, the brain drain increases with political instability and the degree of fractionalization at origin; it globally decreases with nativesÕhuman capital.
    Keywords: International migration, Brain drain, Human capital, Developping countries
    JEL: F22 O15 J24
    Date: 2007–03–15
  5. By: PILAR ROJO (Instituto de Empresa); CRISTINA SIMON (Instituto de Empresa)
    Abstract: The teaching of HRM has long faced reluctance among business school learners. In spite of the growing importance of people issues in business contexts, the lack of adequate measures and links between HRM and the finance arena largely prevents the subject from gaining salience in managers´ mindsets. The purpose of this study was to run a comparative analysis of the relationship between quantitative indicators of HRM practices and three different financial indicators: revenue per employee, HC ROI and EBITDA. To that purpose, we have used a database containing actual measures of HRM practices and outcomes for a sample of 144 companies.
    Keywords: Firm performance, Strategic HRM, Business school teaching
    Date: 2007–03
  6. By: Nauro F. Campos (Brunel University, CEPR, WDI and IZA); Dean Jolliffe (Economic Research Service, USDA, NPC, WDI and IZA)
    Abstract: How does the relationship between earnings and schooling change with the introduction of comprehensive economic reform? This paper sheds light on this question using a unique data set and procedure to reduce sample selection bias. Our evidence is from consistently coded, non-retrospective data for about 4 million Hungarian wage earners. We find that returns to skill increased by 75 percent from 1986 to 2004 (that is, during the period stretching from communism to full membership in the European Union). Moreover, our results identify winners and losers from reform. Winners were the college and university educated and those employed in the services sector (which excludes those in public services). Our results show that reform losers were those in construction and agriculture, those who attained only primary or vocational education (who actually experience a decrease in the returns to their education) as well as those younger workers which acquired most of their education after the collapse of communism (that is, after the main reforms were in place).
    Keywords: human capital, transition economies, economic reform
    JEL: I20 J20 J24 J31 O15 O52 P20
    Date: 2007–03
  7. By: Cardoso, Ana Rute; Verner, Dorte
    Abstract: This paper aims to identify the major drop-out and push-out factors that lead to school abandonment in an urban surrounding-the shantytowns of Fortaleza, Northeast Brazil. The authors use an extensive survey addressing risk factors faced by the population in these neighborhoods, which cover both in-school and out-of-school youth of both genders. They focus on the role of early parenthood, child labor, and poverty in pushing teenagers out of school. The potential endogeneity of some of the determinants is dealt with in the empirical analysis. The authors take advantage of the rich set of variables available and apply an instrumental variables approach. Early parenthood is instrumented with the age declared by the youngsters as the ideal age to start having sexual relationships. Work is instrumented using the declared reservation wage (minimum salary acceptable to work). Results indicate that early parenthood has a strong impact of driving teenagers out of school. Extreme poverty is another factor lowering school attendance, as children who have suffered hunger at some point in their lives are less likely to attend school. In this particular urban context, working does not necessarily have a detrimental effect on school attendance, which could be linked to the fact that dropping out of school leads most often to inactivity and not to work.
    Keywords: Education For All,Youth and Governance,Population Policies,Tertiary Education,Street Children
    Date: 2007–03–01
  8. By: Jacob Vigdor; Jens Ludwig
    Abstract: The mid-1980s witnessed breaks in two important trends related to race and schooling. School segregation, which had been declining, began a period of relative stasis. Black-white test score gaps, which had also been declining, also stagnated. The notion that these two phenomena may be related is also supported by basic cross-sectional evidence. We review existing literature on the relationship between neighborhood- and school-level segregation and the test score gap. Several recent studies point to a statistically significant causal relationship between school segregation and the test score gap, though in many cases the magnitude of the relationship is small in economic terms. Experimental studies, as well as methodologically convincing non-experimental studies, suggest that there is little if any causal role for neighborhood segregation operating through a mechanism other than school segregation.
    JEL: I2 J15 R2
    Date: 2007–03
  9. By: Paul Oyer
    Abstract: I study the human capital development and firm-worker matching processes for PhD economists. This group is useful for this purpose because the types of jobs they hold can be easily categorized and they have an observable productivity measure (that is, publications.) I derive a two-period model to motivate an empirical analysis of economist job matching upon graduation, matching ten years later, and productivity in the first ten years. I show that matching to a higher ranked institution affects productivity. I present evidence that employers improve their estimates of economists' ability early in their career in a way that determines longer-term job placement. I also find that the initial placement of economists to institutions does not show much evidence of systematic misallocation along observable characteristics.
    JEL: J24 J44 M51
    Date: 2007–03
  10. By: Kenn Ariga (Kyoto University); Giorgio Brunello (University of Padova, CESifo and IZA)
    Abstract: There is substantial cross-country variation in secondary school design, with some countries tracking students into different ability schools very early, and other countries with little or no tracking at all. Does tracking length affects school performance, as measured by standardized test scores? We use the international data from the International Adult Literacy Survey to estimate the relationship between the experienced tracking length and the performance in standardized cognitive test scores of young adults, aged between 16 and the mid-twenties. Our IV estimates suggest that the contribution of tracking to performance is positive and statistically significant: conditional on total years of schooling, one additional year spent in a track raises average performance by 3.3 to 3.4 percentage points, depending on the estimates.
    Keywords: tracking, secondary schools, efficiency
    JEL: I21 I28
    Date: 2007–02
  11. By: Daniele, Vittorio
    Abstract: This paper examines the evolution of regional disparities among Italian regions in the period 1980-2007. A growth accounting exercise offers some evidences on the sources of growth and convergence.
    Keywords: Mezzogiorno; contabilità della crescita; convergenza; divari di sviluppo
    JEL: O49 R11
    Date: 2007–01–25
  12. By: Stenberg, Anders (Stockholm University, SOFI)
    Abstract: Adult education at upper secondary level (AE) is an integral part of the Swedish educational system. Of the cohort born in 1970, about one third has at some point been registered in AE. This evaluation of AE is the first to use register data on the course credits actually attained. The results indicate that credits equal to one year of AE yield point estimates that range from 5 per cent for individuals with prior two-year upper secondary school to 15 per cent for those with prior compulsory school. The positive effects are mainly driven by courses in health related subjects and computer science. Of the participants in AE, more than 40 per cent continue to university. The returns to years in higher education are not found to be different between individuals with and without a prior AE registration except for those with one year or less at university.
    Keywords: Adult education; wage earnings
    JEL: H52 J68
    Date: 2007–02–20
  13. By: Burda, Michael C; Hamermesh, Daniel S; Weil, Philippe
    Abstract: Using time-diary data from 25 countries, we demonstrate that there is a negative relationship between real GDP per capita and the female-male difference in total work time per day—the sum of work for pay and work at home. In rich northern countries on four continents there is no difference—men and women do the same amount of total work. This latter fact has been presented before by several sociologists for a few rich countries; but our survey results show that labour economists, macroeconomists, the general public and sociologists are unaware of it and instead believe that women perform more total work. The facts do not arise from gender differences in the price of time (as measured by market wages), as women’s total work is further below men’s where their relative wages are lower. Additional tests using U.S. and German data show that they do not arise from differences in marital bargaining, as gender equality is not associated with marital status; nor do they stem from family norms, since most of the variance in the gender total work difference is due to within-couple differences. We offer a theory of social norms to explain the facts. The social-norm explanation is better able to account for within-education group and within-region gender differences in total work being smaller than inter-group differences. It is consistent with evidence using the World Values Surveys that female total work is relatively greater than men’s where both men and women believe that scarce jobs should be offered to men first.
    Keywords: gender differences; household production; paid work; time use
    JEL: D13 J16 J22
    Date: 2007–03

This nep-hrm issue is ©2007 by Fabio Sabatini. 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.
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