nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2007‒08‒08
twenty-six papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. How Many U.S. Jobs Might Be Offshorable? By Alan S. Blinder
  2. Entrepreneurial Backgrounds, Human Capital and Start-up Success By Rui Baptista; Murat Karaoez; Joana Mendonça
  3. Stochastic labour market shocks, labour market programmes, and human capital formation: a theoretical and empirical analysis By Michael Lechner; Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez
  4. Sources of Lifetime Inequality By Mark Huggett; Gustavo Ventura; Amir Yaron
  5. Overskilling, Job Insecurity and Career Mobility By Seamus McGuinness; Mark Wooden
  6. Agricultural Education for Entrepreneurship, Excellence and Environmental Sustainability: Agenda for Innovation and Change By Gupta Anil K.
  7. Empirical evidence of employer seize wage differencial (in Japanese) By Mamiko Takeuchi
  8. Brain drain and Human Capital Formation in Developing Countries. Are there Really Winners? By José Luis Groizard; Joan Llull
  9. Educational Implications of School Systems at Different Stages of Schooling By Jung Hur; Kang Changhui
  10. Skill Premiums of Trading in International Markets and Equity: Some Lessons for Pro Poor Education Policies in Developing Countries By Mamoon, Dawood
  11. An Evaluation of Single and Mixed Gender Computer Science Classes By Weber, Andrea Maria
  12. Impact of school quality on child labor and school attendance: the case of CONAFE Compensatory Education Program in Mexico By F.Rosati; M. Rossi
  13. Child labour and Education for All By L.Guarcello; S.Lyon; F.Rosati
  14. Healthy minds in healthy bodies. An international comparison of education-related inequality in physical health among older adults By Hendrik Jürges
  15. The education bias of 'trade liberalization' and wage inequality in developing countries By Mamoon, Dawood; Murshed, S. Mansoob
  16. Economic Gains from Publicly Provided Education in Germany By Joachim R. Frick; Markus M. Grabka; Olaf Groh-Samberg
  17. Inequality and the Education MDG for Latin America By Eduardo Zepeda
  18. Higher Education Institutions in Middle Tennessee: An In-Depth Analysis of Their Impact on the Region from a Comparative Perspective By Murat Arik
  19. Which Factors Determine Academic Performance of Undergraduate Students in Economics?: Some Spanish Evidence By Juan José Dolado; E. Morales
  20. Educating Multi-disciplinary Student Groups in Entrepreneurship: Lessons Learned from a Practice Enterprise Project By Collan, Mikael; Kallio-Gerlander, Jaana
  21. The Sexual Orientation Wage Gap: The Role of Occupational Sorting, Human Capital, and Discrimination By Heather Antecol; Anneke Jong; Michael Steinberger
  22. On the Impact of Foreign Aid in Education on Growth: How Relevant is the Heterogeneity of Aid Flows and the Heterogeneity of Aid Recipients? By Elizabeth Asiedu; Boaz Nandwa
  23. Does a public university system avoid the stratification of public universities and the segregation of students? By Joan Rosselló
  24. Human Capital, Mortality and Fertility: A Unified Theory of the Economic and Demographic Transition By Matteo Cervellati; Uwe Sunde
  25. Knowledge flows across European regions By Raffaele Paci; Stefano Usai
  26. Human Rights and Public Opinion: From Attitudes to Action By Shareen Hertel; Lyle Scruggs; C. Patrick Heidkamp

  1. By: Alan S. Blinder (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Using detailed information on the nature of work done in over 800 BLS occupational codes, this paper ranks those occupations according to how easy/hard it is to offshore the work— either physically or electronically. Using that ranking, I estimate that somewhere between 22% and 29% of all U.S. jobs are or will be potentially offshorable within a decade or two. (I make no estimate of how many jobs will actually be offshored.) Since my rankings are subjective, two alternatives are presented—one is entirely objective, the other is an independent subjective ranking. It is found that there is little or no correlation between an occupation’s “offshorability” and the skill level of its workers (as measured either by educational attainment or wages). However, it appears that, controlling for education, the most highly offshorable occupations were already paying significantly lower wages in 2004.
    Date: 2007–03
  2. By: Rui Baptista (IN+, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Technical University of Lisbon; Max Planck Institute of Economics); Murat Karaoez (IN+, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Technical University of Lisbon; IIBF, Department of Economics, Sueleyman Demirel University, Isparta, Turkey); Joana Mendonça (IN+, Instituto Superior Tecnico, Technical University of Lisbon.)
    Abstract: We examine whether founders’ backgrounds influence new firm survival in the early years after start-up. We develop hypotheses linking founders' backgrounds to pre-entry capabilities associated with entrepreneurial human capital, highlighting the cases of spin-offs and habitual entrepreneurs. The subject of unemployment-driven entrepreneurship is also explored. We find that specific human capital more frequently found in spin-off founders plays a key role in enhancing survival chances, while more general forms of human capital may help inexperienced entrepreneurs overcome the barrier posed by the critical early years after start-up.
    Keywords: Founders' backgrounds, Human capital, Start-up Success, Pre-entry capabilities, Spin-offs, Habitual entrepreneurs
    JEL: D21 L10 M13
    Date: 2007–07–31
  3. By: Michael Lechner (Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research, University of St.Gallen.); Rosalia Vazquez-Alvarez (Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economic Research, University of St.Gallen.)
    Abstract: This paper develops a life-cycle model of labour supply that captures endogenous human capital formation allowing for individual’s heterogeneous responses to stochastic labour market shocks. The shocks determines conditions in the labour market and sort individuals into three labour market regimes; employment, unemployment with and unemployment without participation in labour market programmes. The structural model entails time independent stochastic shocks that have transitory effects on monetary returns while the effect on human capital formation may be permanent. The permanent effect may justify the existence of active labour market programmes if these programmes imply non-depreciating human capital and human capital depreciation is detected for the non-participant unemployed. Using several years of the Swiss Labour Force Survey (SAKE, 1991 – 2004) the empirical section compares the dynamic formation of human capital between labour market regimes. The results are consistent with the assumptions of the structural model and suggest human capital depreciation for unemployment without programme participation. They further show that labour programmes may act as a buffer to reduce human capital loss while unemployed.
    Keywords: Human capital formation, life-cycle labour supply models, active labour market policies,search activities, productivity shocks, unemployment.
    JEL: D31 D91 J24 J68
    Date: 2007–06
  4. By: Mark Huggett; Gustavo Ventura; Amir Yaron (Department of Economics, Georgetown University)
    Abstract: Is lifetime inequality mainly due to differences across people established early in life or to differences in luck experienced over the working lifetime? We answer this question within a model that features idiosyncratic shocks to human capital, estimated directly from data, as well as heterogeneity in ability to learn, initial human capital, and initial wealth { features which are chosen to match observed properties of earnings dynamics by cohorts. We find that as of age 20, differences in initial conditions account for more of the variation in lifetime utility, lifetime earnings and lifetime wealth than do differences in shocks received over the lifetime. Among initial conditions, variation in initial human capital is substantially more important than variation in learning ability or initial wealth for determining how an agent fares in life. An increase in an agent's human capital affects expected lifetime utility by raising an agent's expected earnings pro¯le, whereas an increase in learning ability affects expected utility by producing a steeper expected earnings profile. Classification-JEL Codes: E21, D3, D91.
    Keywords: Lifetime Inequality, Human Capital, Idiosyncratic Risk
    Date: 2007–07–04
  5. By: Seamus McGuinness (MIAESR, University of Melbourne); Mark Wooden (MIAESR, University of Melbourne and IZA)
    Abstract: This paper uses longitudinal data from Australia to examine the extent to which overskilling - the extent to which work-related skills and abilities are utilized in current employment - is a transitory phenomenon. The results suggest that while overskilled workers are much more likely to want to quit their current job, they are also relatively unconfident of finding an improved job match. Furthermore, some of the greater mobility observed among overskilled workers is due to involuntary job separations, and even in instances where job separations are voluntary, the majority of moves do not result in improved skills matches.
    Keywords: overskilling, job insecurity, job mobility, HILDA Survey, Australia
    JEL: J62 J24
    Date: 2007–07
  6. By: Gupta Anil K.
    Abstract: Having been a product of Agricultural University, I understand and empathize with the leaders of the universities about the problems they face. However, let us accept that the standards that were set decades ago can indeed be surpassed if only we would challenge the students to bring out the best in them. My one line summary of the problem is that we are not challenging the future leaders of our discipline strongly enough. Is it because rise in their expectations will create a stress on us or is it that we have learnt to be helpless? Isn’t it ironic that in almost no agricultural university, a graduate or postgraduate is not required to take any course in entrepreneurship? The universities seem to be locked up in the paradigm of seventies.
    Date: 2007–07–18
  7. By: Mamiko Takeuchi (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellow)
    Abstract: This paper re-examines the evidence of the positive effect of job seniority and education on wage using endogeneous switching regression. And our analysis shows that the correlation of seniority and education with an omitted variable representing such as the quality of the worker, job, or worker-employer match. In addition, conditional expectations of our analysis assuming the labor mobility confirm the exist of dual labor market.
    Keywords: Employer size wage differencial@Dual market
    JEL: J21 J22 J23
    Date: 2007–07
  8. By: José Luis Groizard (Universitat de les Illes Balears); Joan Llull (CEMFI)
    Abstract: We examine the empirical relationship between the migration rate of skilled workers and human capital formation in developing countries. In particular, we revisit Beine, Docquier and Rapoport (2007), who find evidence of an incentive effect. Our results suggest that an incentive effect is weak if not absent, since positive correlation among brain drain and human capital ex-ante is not robust to small changes in the specification.
    Keywords: brain drain, migration, education, incentives
    JEL: F22 J24 O15
    Date: 2007
  9. By: Jung Hur (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore); Kang Changhui (Department of Economics, National University of Singapore)
    Abstract: In educating students national public school systems use different methods of grouping students by ability across schools. We consider four different school systems of student allocation at different stages of schooling and their educational implications. Our two-period model suggests that both the frequency and sequence of ability grouping play an important role in producing educational implications. As different households prefer different combinations of school systems, the overall performance of a school system is determined by how households are distributed over income and a child's ability and the voting of households.
    Keywords: Education, Comprehensive and Selective School Systems
    JEL: D11 I20
    Date: 2007
  10. By: Mamoon, Dawood
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine whether the human capital accumulation, that is a result of increased trade, further exacerbates industrial wage differentials. We find that level of education is one of the key determinants in explaining wage inequalities. Though countries which have a higher level of human capital do well on the inequality front, our results suggest that post liberalization human capital accumulation is associated with higher premiums to skilled labor thus increasing wage gaps. In this context, governments in developing countries may need to increase the mean level of human capital to achieve equity in labor markets.
    Keywords: Integration; Trade Liberalization; Wage Inequality.
    JEL: J01 I20 F16
    Date: 2007–08–01
  11. By: Weber, Andrea Maria
    Abstract: Discussions on the benefits of single-gender education on girls science outcomes are popular in the German education literature. However, most empirical evidence tends to be qualitative work and the causal effects of single-gender education are hardly identified using appropriate statistical methods. This paper provides insights from a recent single-gender-education school project conducted in computer science classes at a German lower secondary school. About 80 students participated in this intervention study repeatedly answering specifically designed questionnaires and tests. The project fails to identify positive effects from single-gender education but the interpretation is impeded by several confounding factors. When directly asked, most students prefer to be educated in mixed-gender groups, while the participating teachers judge their teaching experience with the project groups in favour of single-gender education.
    Keywords: gender, education, identification, coeducation, segregation, experiments
    JEL: I21 J16
    Date: 2007–07
  12. By: F.Rosati; M. Rossi
    Abstract: This paper focuses on the impact that two different types of policy interventions, namely enhancing school quality and contingent cash transfers , have on child labour and school attendance in Mexico. While there are many studies on the impact of Oportunidades on schooling outcomes, little evidence is available on whether school quality programs such as CONAFE also reduce child labour and help keep children in school. To carry out the analysis, we merge the Oportunidades panel dataset for the years 1997 to 2000 to the CONAFE dataset containing detailed information on the school quality program components. The econometric strategy involves a bivariate probit model for child labor and schooling, both for primary school aged children and adolescents. In this way, we are able to control whether the impact of the program on schooling differs according to the age of the targeted child. Our findings suggest that school quality programs are not only effective in increasing school attendance, but also act as deterrents to child labor, especially for children of secondary school age.
    Date: 2007–02
  13. By: L.Guarcello; S.Lyon; F.Rosati
    Abstract: Education is a key element in the prevention of child labour; at the same time, child labour is one of the main obstacles to Education for All (EFA). Understanding the interplay between education and child labour is therefore critical to achieving both EFA and child labour elimination goals. This paper forms part of UCW broader efforts towards improving this understanding of education-child labour links, providing a brief overview of relevant research and key knowledge gaps. The study largely confirm the conventional wisdom that child labour harms children's ability to enter and survive in the school system, and makes it more difficult for children to derive educational benefit from schooling once in the system. The evidence also suggested that these negative effects are not limited to economic activity but also extend to household chores, and that the intensity of work (in economic activity or household chores) is particularly important in determining the impact of work on schooling. As regards the link between education provision and child labour, it pointed to the important role of inadequate schooling in keeping children out of the classroom and into work. This evidence indicated that both the school quality and school access can play an important role in household decisions concerning whether children study or work.
    Date: 2006–11
  14. By: Hendrik Jürges (Mannheim Research Institute for the Economics of Aging (MEA))
    Abstract: Education is arguably the most important correlate of health We study education-related inequality in the physical of older adults across 11 European countries and the US. Combining data from HRS 2002, ELSA 2002 and SHARE 2004, our results suggest that education is strongly correlated with health both across and within countries. Education-related inequality in health is larger in Mediterranean and Anglo-Saxon countries than in western European countries. We find no evidence of a trade-off between health levels and equity in health. Education-related inequality in health hardly driven by income or wealth effects (except in the US), and differences in health behaviors (smoking) by education level contribute surprisingly little health differences across education groups.
    Date: 2007–07–17
  15. By: Mamoon, Dawood; Murshed, S. Mansoob
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of increased trade on wage inequality in developing countries, and whether a higher human capital stock moderates this effect. We look at the skilled-unskilled wage differential. High initial endowments of human capital imply a more egalitarian society. When more equal societies open up their economies further, increased trade is likely to induce less inequality on impact because the supply of skills better matches demand. But greater international exposure also brings about technological diffusion, further raising skilled labour demand. This may raise wage inequality, in contrast to the initial egalitarian level effect of human capital. We attempt to measure these two opposing forces. We also employ a broad set of openness indicators to measure trade liberalization policies as well as general openness, which is an outcome, and not a policy variable. We further examine what type of education most reduces inequality. Our findings suggest that countries with a higher level of initial human capital do well on the inequality front, but human capital which accrues through the trade liberalization channel has inegalitarian effects. One explanation could be that governments in developing countries invest more in higher education at the expense of primary education in order to gain immediate benefits from globalization; thus becoming prone to wage inequality after increased international trade. Our results also have implications for the speed at which trade policies are liberalized, the implication being that better educated nations should liberalize faster.
    Keywords: trade liberalization, wages, economic disparity, skills development, education, human resources
    JEL: F15 I3
  16. By: Joachim R. Frick (SOEP, DIW Berlin, TU Berlin and IZA); Markus M. Grabka (SOEP, DIW Berlin); Olaf Groh-Samberg (SOEP, DIW Berlin)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to estimate income advantages arising from publicly provided education and to analyse their impact on the income distribution in Germany. Using representative micro-data from the SOEP and considering regional and education-specific variation, from a cross-sectional perspective the overall result is the expected levelling effect. When estimating the effects of accumulated educational transfers over the life course within a regression framework, however, and controlling for selectivity of households with children as potential beneficiaries of educational transfers, we find evidence that social inequalities are increasing from an intergenerational perspective, reinforced in particular by public transfers for non-compulsory education, thus negating any social equalisation effects achieved within the compulsory education framework.
    Keywords: education, public transfers, income distribution, economic wellbeing, SOEP
    JEL: I38 I22 D31 I32
    Date: 2007–07
  17. By: Eduardo Zepeda (International Poverty Centre)
    Abstract: .
    Keywords: Poverty, Inequality, MDG
    Date: 2006–10
  18. By: Murat Arik
    Date: 2007–03
  19. By: Juan José Dolado; E. Morales
    Abstract: This paper analyses the determinants of academic performance of first-year undergraduate students in Economics at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, over the period 2001-2005. We focus on a few core subjects which differ in their degree of mathematical complexity. Type of school, specialization track at high school, and the grades obtained at the university entry-exam are among the key factors we examine. Our main finding is that those students who completed a technical track at high school tend to do much better in subjects involving mathematics than those who followed a social sciences track (tailor-made for future economics students) and that the latter do not perform significantly better than the former in subjects with less degree of formalism. Moreover, students from public schools are predominant in the lower and upper parts of the grade distribution while females tend to perform better than males.
  20. By: Collan, Mikael; Kallio-Gerlander, Jaana
    Abstract: The target audiences for entrepreneurial university studies are most often students of different fields of business studies, or economics; entrepreneurship studies are a part of their normal curriculum. Entrepreneurs, however, are not a group that consists only of business professionals, but a group of people from all walks of life. The basic procedures and laws governing the starting of a company are most often same for all companies and individuals. It is important to acknowledge these two facts, when designing curriculums for university studies: basic courses in entrepreneurship (starting a business) are important for students of all disciplines. This paper reports experiences from educating multi-disciplinary student groups in entrepreneurship, presents preliminary data about student background and attitudes towards entrepreneurship, and discusses some lessons learned from the experiences.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship education; multi-disciplinary groups; lessons learned
    JEL: M13 L26 A22 A2
    Date: 2006
  21. By: Heather Antecol (Claremont McKenna College and IZA); Anneke Jong (Unaffiliated); Michael Steinberger (Pomona College)
    Abstract: Using data from the 2000 U.S. Census, we document and explore three alternative explanations for the sexual orientation wage gap: occupational sorting, human capital differences, and discrimination. We find lesbian women earn more than their heterosexual counterparts irrespective of marital status while gay men earn less than their married heterosexual counterparts but more than their cohabitating heterosexual counterparts. Using a Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition we find that differences in human capital accumulation (particularly education) are the main reason behind the observed wage advantages, while discrimination and occupational sorting play a minimal role at best. Wage penalties, on the other hand, are largely explained by discrimination. Interestingly, while we do find there are some differences in the relative roles of our three alternative explanations across the wage distribution using a DiNardo, Fortin, Lemieux decomposition, the main conclusions from the Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition persist.
    Keywords: sexual orientation wage gap, occupational sorting, human capital, discrimination
    JEL: J24 J31 J71
    Date: 2007–07
  22. By: Elizabeth Asiedu (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas); Boaz Nandwa (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether foreign aid in education has a significant effect on growth. We take into consideration the heterogeneous nature of aid as well as the heterogeneity of aid recipients—we disaggregate the aid data into primary, secondary and higher education, and run separate regressions for low income and middle income countries. We find that the effect of aid varies by income as well as by the type of aid. Thus our results underscore the importance of the heterogeneity of aid flows as well as the heterogeneity of recipient countries when analyzing the effect of aid on growth.
    Keywords: Education, Foreign Aid, Growth.
    JEL: F34 F35 I20 O19
    Date: 2007–07
  23. By: Joan Rosselló (Universitat de les Illes Balears)
    Abstract: We present a model which allows us to show that even in a public university system where tuition and fees are fixed by the administration, a stratification of public universities according to the quality they offer and the quality of students they select, can be observed. This result is similar to that observed in private and competitive university systems. We also show that it is very unlikely that segregation and stratification could be avoided by subsidizing those universities that are more inefficient. We show also that even if stratification and segregation could be corrected with subsidies it would be at the cost of fixing the upper-bounds at the quality that could be offered at any university, hence fixing quality limits at the whole university system.
    Keywords: School choice, state and federal aid.
    JEL: H24 I28
    Date: 2007
  24. By: Matteo Cervellati (University of Bologna, IAE Barcelona and IZA); Uwe Sunde (IZA, University of Bonn and CEPR)
    Abstract: This paper provides a unified theory of the economic and demographic transition. Individuals make optimal decisions about fertility, education of their children and the type and intensity of the investments in their own education. These decisions are affected by different dimensions of mortality and technological progress which change endogenously during the process of development. The model generates an endogenous transition from a regime characterized by limited human capital formation, little longevity, high child mortality, large fertility and a sluggish income and productivity growth to a modern growth regime in which lower net fertility is associated with the acquisition of human capital and improved living standards. Unlike previous models, the framework emphasizes the education composition of the population in terms of the equilibrium share of educated individuals, and differential fertility related to education. The framework explores the roles of different dimensions of mortality, wages and schooling in triggering the transition. The dynamics of the model are consistent with empirical observations and stylized facts that have been difficult to reconcile so far. For illustration we simulate the model and discuss the novel predictions using historical and cross-country data.
    Keywords: long-term development, demographic transition, endogenous life expectancy, child mortality, heterogeneous human capital, technological change, industrial revolution
    JEL: E10 J10 O10 O40 O41
    Date: 2007–07
  25. By: Raffaele Paci; Stefano Usai
    Abstract: The recent resurgence of growth studies has clearly established that technological progress and knowledge accumulation are among the most important factors in determining the performance of regional and national economic systems. Nonetheless, few empirical studies have tried to analyse the flows of technology and knowledge across regional economies in Europe due to the lack of adequate indicators. In this paper we propose new evidence on the characteristics of knowledge flows across European regions based on a statistical databank, set up by CRENoS, on regional patenting and citations at the European Patent Office spanning from 1978 to 2004 and classified by ISIC sectors (3 digit). We consider 175 regions of 17 countries in Europe assigning each patent a region according to the place of residence of the inventors; then, we examine in- and out-flows of patent citations as a proxy of knowledge connections, while looking also at their sectoral differences and dynamics through time. The econometric analysis is based on a model where the transmission and exchange of knowledge across regions is mainly affected by geographical distance together with a set of spatial dummy variables. Moreover, we make several controls to check for the robustness of our results with respect to the inclusion of other characteristics of the origin and destination regions (production structure, economic conditions and technological efforts) as well as different estimation methods. The main result is that knowledge flows decrease as the geographical distance between the origin and the destination region increase. Furthermore, knowledge flows tend to be higher among contiguous regions and areas within the same country.
    Date: 2007
  26. By: Shareen Hertel (University of Connecticut); Lyle Scruggs (University of Connecticut); C. Patrick Heidkamp (Southern Connecticut State University)
    Abstract: How does the American public understand basic human rights issues -- and what, if anything, are they willing to do to promote such rights? This article analyzes data from a 2006 national public opinion survey on human rights conducted by the authors. We explore how the American public understands three basic human rights that have not previously been included together in a single survey: the right not to be tortured, the right to freedom of thought and expression, and the right to a minimum guaranteed standard of living. We then assess respondents' willingness to promote, through their personal actions, the right to a guaranteed minimum standard of living -- specifically, by purchasing "sweat-free" and/or "fair trade" products. We find public acceptance of a broad range of rights as inviolable human rights, and a strong association between willingness to pay more for both types of ethical consumption.
    Keywords: : human rights, public opinion, sweatshops, fair trade
    Date: 2007–07

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