nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2007‒06‒02
twelve papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Do Domestic Educations Even Out the Playing Field? Ethnic Labor Market Gaps in Sweden By Nekby, Lena; Özcan, Gülay
  2. The Effects of Labor Market Conditions on Working Time: the US-EU Experience By Michelacci, Claudio; Pijoan-Mas, Josep
  3. Performance Assessment of Portuguese Secondary Schools By M. C. Portela; A. S. Camanho
  4. Evidence on the Impact of Adult Upper Secondary Education in Sweden By Stenberg, Anders
  5. A New Creative Learning Centre at a Girls School in Australia By Amanda Bell
  6. Using Wiki to Build an E-learning System in Statistics in Arabic Language By Taleb Ahmed; Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke
  7. Entrepreneurs: Jacks of all Trades or Hobos? By Thomas Astebro; Peter Thompson
  8. Practice Makes Perfect: On Professional Standards By Sällström Matthews, S.E.
  9. Constrained After College: Student Loans and Early Career Occupational Choices By Jesse Rothstein; Cecilia Elena Rouse
  10. Measuring Segregation By Frankel, David M.; Volij, Oscar
  11. South Africa’s School Infrastructure Performance Indicator System By Jeremy Gibberd
  12. Intangible Capital, Corporate Valuation and Asset Pricing By Jean-Pierre Danthine; Xiangrong JIN

  1. By: Nekby, Lena (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS); Özcan, Gülay (Stockholm University Linnaeus Center for Integration Studies - SULCIS)
    Abstract: The importance of investing in host country-specific human capital such as domestic language proficiency and domestic education is often cited as a determining factor for the labor market success of immigrants. This suggests that entirely domestic educations should even out the playing field providing equal labor market opportunities for natives and immigrants with similar (domestic) educations. This study follows a cohort of students from Swedish compulsory school graduation in 1988 until 2002 in order to document ethnic differences in education, including grades and field of education, and subsequent labor market outcomes. Results indicate both initial differences in youth labor market status and long term differences in employment rates, most notably for those with Non-European backgrounds. Differences in level or field of domestic education cannot explain persistent employment gaps. However, employment gaps are driven by differences among those with secondary school only. No employment or income gaps are found for the university educated.
    Keywords: Ethnic minorities; Education; Employment; Income; Discrimination
    JEL: I21 J15 J71 Z13
    Date: 2007–05–25
  2. By: Michelacci, Claudio; Pijoan-Mas, Josep
    Abstract: We consider a labor market search model where, by working longer hours, individuals acquire greater skills and thereby obtain better jobs. We show that job inequality, which leads to within-skill wage differences, gives incentives to work longer hours. By contrast, a higher probability of losing jobs, a longer duration of unemployment, and in general a less tight labor market discourage working time. We show that the different evolution of labor market conditions in the US and in Continental Europe over the last three decades can quantitatively explain the diverging evolution of the number of hours worked per employee across the two sides of the Atlantic. It can also explain why the fraction of prime age male workers working very long hours has increased substantially in the US, after reverting a trend of secular decline.
    Keywords: human capital; search; unemployment; wage inequality; working hours
    JEL: E24 G31 J31
    Date: 2007–05
  3. By: M. C. Portela (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); A. S. Camanho (Faculdade de Engenharia, Universidade do Porto)
    Abstract: This paper describes a performance analysis of Portuguese secondary schools us- ing data envelopment analysis (DEA). The type of assessment carried out in schools may be di®erent depending on the perspective. Therefore we adopted in this pa- per two perspectives for assessing schools: a society perspective where schools are viewed as promoting students achievement (ideally including not only academic re- sults but also interpersonal capacities) given the students characteristics in terms of academic abilities and socio-economic backgrounds; and an educational authorities perspective where schools are viewed as transforming a set of resources (including students with given characteristics in terms of academic abilities and socio-economic backgrounds and also school resources, such as teachers) into students achievement. Two types of DEA analysis were performed: one using an output oriented model allowing factor weights to vary freely from school to school and another using a model that restricts factor weights to be equal for all schools. The ¯rst model is well suited for identifying worst performing schools, whereas the latter is best suited for identifying best performing schools. Our data set comprised a small number of schools and in some cases there were missing values. The problems associated with missing data were overcome following a procedure described in the literature. The empirical DEA analysis was followed by an exploratory analysis of contextual indicators that potentially a®ect schools' performance, in order to understand their impact on the educational process.
    Keywords: Data Envelopment Analysis, Secondary Schools.
    JEL: C61 D24 I20
    Date: 2007–05
  4. By: Stenberg, Anders (Swedish Institute for Social Research, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This study is the first to explore the earnings effects of credits attained in adult education at upper secondary level (AE) in Sweden. It is also investigated whether individuals with and without AE prior to enrolment in higher studies differ in their achievements at university and/or in their subsequent earnings. The analyses are based on register data of the cohort born in 1970 of which more than one third at some point has been registered in AE. In the preferred specification, credits equal to one year of AE are found to increase annual wage earnings by 4.1 per cent for males and 3.6 per cent for females. The results are mainly driven by course credits with an element of specific knowledge such as health related subjects and computer science, while more general subjects such as Mathematics, Swedish or English are linked with zero returns. Concerning higher education, the results indicate a lower payoff for AE individuals if higher studies are limited to less than two years. There is also evidence of a lower probability of completing four years of higher studies, in particular among females.
    Keywords: Adult education; wage earnings
    JEL: H52 J68
    Date: 2007–05–23
  5. By: Amanda Bell
    Abstract: Brisbane Girls Grammar School’s new Creative Learning Centre was conceived to group arts studies which were previously scattered across the campus and to serve all students as a meeting place and technology hub. The building is specifically designed to provide the most flexible and innovative environment for teenaged girls, having special regard for the way girls learn and interact socially. The unique design also helps ensure protection from Brisbane’s hot and humid environment.
    Keywords: innovation, technology, secondary schools, school building design, learning environment, educational buildings
    Date: 2007–05
  6. By: Taleb Ahmed; Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke
    Abstract: E-learning plays an important role in education as it supports online education via computer networks and provides educational services by utilising information technologies. We present a case study describing the development of an Arabic language elearning course in statistics. Discussed are issues concerning e-learning in Arab countries with special focus on problems of the application of e-learning in the Arab world and the difficulties concerning the design Arabic platforms such as language problems, cultural and technical problems, especially ArabTeX works difficulty with LaTeX format. Thus Wiki is offered as a solution to such problems. Wiki supports LaTeX and other statistical programs, for instance R, and^Wiki offers the solution to language problems. Details of this technology are discussed and a solution as to how this system can serve in building an Arab platform is presented.
    Keywords: E-Learning, MM*Stat, Wiki, ArabTeX, Statistical Software.
    JEL: I21 C19
    Date: 2007–05
  7. By: Thomas Astebro (Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto); Peter Thompson (Department of Economics, Florida International University)
    Abstract: Human capital investment theory suggests that entrepreneurs should be generalists, while those who work for others should be specialists; it also predicts higher incomes for entrepreneurs with generalist skills. An alternative view predicts that those with greater taste for variety are more likely to become entrepreneurs and that entrepreneurs will see their incomes decrease with greater skill variety. Data from a survey of 830 independent inventors and 300 individuals from the general population confirm that inventor-entrepreneurs typically have a more varied labor market experience. However, the more varied their experience, the lower their household income. The results support the interpretation that both choice of entrepreneurship and investment in generalist skills are driven by a taste for variety.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, employment choice, skill, jack-of-all-trades, taste for variety.
    JEL: J24 L26
    Date: 2007–05
  8. By: Sällström Matthews, S.E.
    Abstract: Practising is a matter of increasing the reliability of ones skills rather than relying on a tool or a strike of genius to get it right. Once perfection has been achieved the individual will aim for higher quality since the effort is more likely to be worthwhile. Furthermore because the returns to achieving perfection are higher the harder it is to achieve, the perfectionist equilibrium only arises in situations where genius is rare and reliability is low. From this follows that as tools improve, even though perfection then has become easier to achieve, professional standards may nonetheless decline. This mechanism is captured in an oligopoly model, where the failure rate and the quality are endogenously determined.
    Keywords: human capital, skill, technological change, quality, standards, learning, cultural economics, imperfect competition, patent race.
    JEL: D2 D43 L13 L15 J24
    Date: 2007–05
  9. By: Jesse Rothstein; Cecilia Elena Rouse
    Abstract: In the early 2000s, a highly selective university introduced a "no-loans" policy under which the loan component of financial aid awards was replaced with grants. We use this natural experiment to identify the causal effect of student debt on employment outcomes. In the standard life-cycle model, young people make optimal educational investment decisions if they are able to finance these investments by borrowing against future earnings; the presence of debt has only income effects on future decisions. We find that debt causes graduates to choose substantially higher-salary jobs and reduces the probability that students choose low-paid "public interest" jobs. We also find some evidence that debt affects students' academic decisions during college. Our estimates suggest that recent college graduates are not life-cycle agents. Two potential explanations are that young workers are credit constrained or that they are averse to holding debt. We find suggestive evidence that debt reduces students' donations to the institution in the years after they graduate and increases the likelihood that a graduate will default on a pledge made during her senior year; we argue this result is more likely consistent with credit constraints than with debt aversion.
    JEL: D91 H52 I20 J24
    Date: 2007–05
  10. By: Frankel, David M.; Volij, Oscar
    Abstract: We propose a set of axioms for the measurement of school-based segregation with any number of ethnic groups. These axioms are motivated by two criteria. The first is evenness: how much do ethnic groups’ distributions across schools differ? The second is representativeness: how different are schools’ ethnic distributions from one another? We prove that a unique ordering satisfies our axioms. It is represented by an index that was originally proposed by Henri Theil (1971). This “Mutual Information Index” is related to Theil’s better known Entropy Index, which violates two of our axioms.
    Keywords: Segregation, indices, measurement, peer effects, schools, education, equal opportunity.
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2007–05–24
  11. By: Jeremy Gibberd
    Abstract: While some South African schools have excellent infrastructure, others lack basic services such as water and sanitation. The school infrastructure performance indicator system (SIPIS) project offers an approach that can address both the urgent provision of basic services as well as support the development of more sophisticated and more effective education environments over time.
    Keywords: evaluation, learning environment, educational buildings, school infrastructure
    Date: 2007–05
  12. By: Jean-Pierre Danthine (University of Lausanne, Swiss Finance Institute and CEPR); Xiangrong JIN (Hong Kong Monetary Authority)
    Abstract: Recent studies have found unmeasured intangible capital to be large and important. In this paper we observe that by nature intangible capital is also very different from physical capital. We find it plausible to argue that the accumulation process for intangible capital differs significantly from the process by which physical capital accumulates. We study the implications of this hypothesis for rational firm valuation and asset pricing using a two-sector general equilibrium model. Our main finding is that the properties of firm valuation and stock prices are very dependent on the assumed accumulation process for intangible capital. If one entertains the possibility that intangible investments translates into capital stochastically, we find that plausible levels of macroeconomic volatility are compatible with highly variable corporate valuations, P/E ratios and stock returns.
    Keywords: Intangible capital, corporate valuation, stock return volatility
    JEL: D24 D50 G12
    Date: 2006–09

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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