nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2007‒08‒18
twenty papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. The Impact of Cohort Size and Local Labor Market Conditions on Human Capital Accumulation in Europe By Torge Middendorf
  2. Taxing Human Capital Efficiently – The Double Dividend of Taxing Nonqualified Labour More Heavily Than Qualified Labour By Wolfram F. Richter
  3. Human rights, human needs, human development, human security: relationships between four international 'human' discourses. By Gasper, Des
  4. Educational achievement and socioeconomic background: causality and mechanisms in Senegal By DUMAS Christelle; LAMBERT Sylvie
  5. Persistence of the School Entry Age Effect in a System of Flexible Tracking By Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
  6. Brain Drain or Brain Gain? Micro Evidence from an African Success Story By Catia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; Pedro C. Vicente
  7. Do CEOs matter? By Morten Bennedsen; Francisco Perez-Gonzalez; Daniel Wolfenzon
  8. A gender-neutral approach to gender issues. By Alessandro Cigno
  9. Institutions and Training Inequality By Wolfgang Lechthaler; Dennis J. Snower
  10. The Labour Market Effects of Alma Mater: Evidence from Italy By Giorgio Brunello; Lorenzo Cappellari
  11. Did the Decline in Social Capital Decrease American Happiness? A Relational Explanation of the Happiness Paradox By Stefano Bartolini; Ennio Bilancini; Maurizio Pugno
  12. Population Aging, Elderly Migration and Education Spending: Intergenerational Conflict Revisited By Mehmet Serkan Tosun; Claudia Williamson; Pavel Yakovlev
  13. Workforce reduction and firm performance: a comparison between French publicly-listed and non-listed companies, 1994-2000. By Arnaud Degorre; Bénédicte Reynaud
  14. Technology, Skills and Retirement By Federico Biagi; Danilo Cavapozzi; Raffaele Miniaci
  15. Transforming and Computerizing Professional Artifacts. An underestimated opportunity for learning. By Beckerman, Carina
  16. Human Resource Management: Some Vital Considerations By Mishra, SK
  17. On the Utility of E-Learning in Statistics By Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
  18. Skill-Biased Agglomeration Effects and Amenities: Theory with an Application to Italian Cities By Alberto Dalmazzo; Guido De Blasio
  19. Technological Spillovers and Productivity in Italian Manufacturing Firms By Claudio A. Piga; Giuseppe Medda
  20. Copyright vs. Copyleft Licencing and Software Development By Massimo D'Antoni; Maria Alessandra Rossi

  1. By: Torge Middendorf
    Abstract: Recent studies emphasize the impact of macroeconomic factors on educational attainment. They show that although individual factors like the educational level of one’s parents play a decisive role in determining the human capital accumulation of the children, the cohort size as well as the local labor market seem to have a significant impact, too. This paper analyzes the impact of birth cohort size as well as unemployment on educational attainment in Europe using the European Community Household Panel. Estimation results suggest that neither the size of the birth cohort nor the local unemployment rate induces a change in the individual’s schooling decision.
    Keywords: Educational attainment,demography, multivariate ordered probit
    JEL: I21 J21 J62
    Date: 2007–05
  2. By: Wolfram F. Richter
    Abstract: Assuming isoelastic returns to education and an endogenous supply of qualified and nonqualified labour, it is shown to be second-best efficient not to distort the choice of education. Furthermore, taxation should set incentives so that qualified labour is substituted for nonqualified labour. As a result, it is efficient to tax labour income regressively with respect to qualification and to tax the monetary cost of education at a level that restores efficiency in education. Atax on capital income alleviates the distortion that progressive taxation of labour income exerts on human-capital investment.
    Keywords: Endogenous choice of education and labour, efficient taxation of human and nonhuman capital, double-dividend hypothesis
    JEL: H21 I28 J24
    Date: 2007–05
  3. By: Gasper, Des
    Abstract: Human rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and politics; each has emerged within the United Nations world; each relies implicitly on a conceptualisation of human need; each has specific strengths. Yet mutual communication, understanding and co-operation are deficient, especially between human rights and the other discourses. The paper tries to identify respective strengths, weaknesses, and potential complementarity. It suggests that human security discourse may offer a working alliance between humanized discourses of rights, development and need.
    Keywords: human rights, human development, human needs, human security
    Date: 2007
  4. By: DUMAS Christelle; LAMBERT Sylvie
    Abstract: This paper addresses the relationship between schooling and socioeconomic background, in particular parents’ education. We use an original survey conducted in 2003 in Senegal that provides instruments to deal with the endogeneity of background variables. These instruments describe the environment in which parents lived when they were ten years old. The estimated effect of father’s education more than doubles when its endogeneity is accounted for and, unexpectedly, becomes much bigger than the impact of mother’s education. We focus on the understanding of the channels through which parental education affects children’s schooling and present results pointing at the role of parental education in shaping parental preferences for the education of their offspring. Finally, we present empirical evidence suggesting that family background has as much impact after entry to school as it does at younger ages.
    Keywords: schooling mobility, education demand.
    JEL: D12 I21 O12
    Date: 2007–05
  5. By: Puhani, Patrick A.; Weber, Andrea M.
    Abstract: In Germany, the streaming of students into an academic or nonacademic track at age 10 can be revised at later stages of secondary education. To investigate the importance of such revisions, we use administrative data on the student population in the German state of Hessen to measure the persistence of school entry age's impact on choice of secondary school track. Based on exogenous variation in the school entry age by birth month, we obtain regression discontinuity estimates for different cohorts and grades up to the end of secondary education. We show that the effect of original school entry age on a student's later attending grammar school disappears exactly at the grade level in which educational institutions facilitate track modification.
    Keywords: Education, identification, regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables, relative maturity
    JEL: I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2007–08
  6. By: Catia Batista; Aitor Lacuesta; Pedro C. Vicente
    Abstract: Does emigration really drain human capital accumulation in origin countries? This paper explores a unique household survey designed and conducted to answer this specific question for the case of Cape Verde - the sub-Saharan African country with the largest fraction of tertiary-educated population living abroad, despite also having a fast-growing stock of human capital. Unlike previous literature, the ideal characteristics of our tailored survey allow us to explicitly test "brain gain" arguments according to which the possibility of own future emigration positvely contributes to educational attainment in the origin country. In particular, we introduce a new method to estimate this effect by using full histories of current and return migrants (which enable controlling for migrant selection on unobservables), and a new set of exclusion restrictions both at the regional and household levels. Our results are robust to the inclusion of controls for remittances, family disruption, and general equilibrium effects of emigration. In constructing a counterfactual distribution of skills to answer our research question, we combine the survey data with information from censuses of the destination cuntries to account for the characteristics of the labour force that is (permanent and temporarily) lost due to emigration. Our results point to commonly used "brain dran" figures to be significantly exaggerated, whereas there may be substantial "brain gains" from allowing free migration and encouraging return migration.
    Keywords: Brain Drain, Brain Gain, International Migration, Human Capital, Effects of Emigration in Origin Countries, Household Survey, Cape Verde, Sub-Saharan Africa
    JEL: F22 J24 O15 O55
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Morten Bennedsen; Francisco Perez-Gonzalez; Daniel Wolfenzon
    Abstract: Estimating the value of top managerial talent is a central topic of research that has attracted widespread attention from academics and practitioners. Yet, studying the impact of managers on firm performance is difficult because of endogeneity and omitted variables concerns. In this paper, we test for the impact of managers on firm performance in two ways. First, we examine whether top executive deaths have an impact on firm performance, focusing on the manager and firm characteristics that are associated to large manager-death effects. Second, we test for the interaction between the personal and professional activities of managers by examining the effect of deaths of immediate family members (spouses, parents, children, etc) on firm performance. Our main findings are three. First, CEO deaths are strongly correlated with declines in firms operating profitability, asset growth and sales growth. Second, the death of board members does not seem to affect firm prospects, indicating that not all senior managers are equally important for firms’ outcomes. Third, CEOs’ immediate family deaths are significantly negatively correlated to firm performance. This last result suggests a strong link between the personal and business roles that top management plays, a connection that is present even in large firms. Overall, our findings demonstrate CEOs are extremely important for firms’ prospects.
    Date: 2007–03
  8. By: Alessandro Cigno
    Abstract: In this paper, I attempt to explain a number of facts, adverse to women, without assuming that the latter are discriminated against in the labour market, that mothers love children more fathers, or that parents treat sons better than daughters. Nor do I assume that individual behaviour is subject to any sort of social conditioning in particular, that women feel compelled to stay at home and look after their children just because they are women. I do this not because I believe it to be necessarily true in all circumstances, but in order to show that none of those assumptions is necessary to explain why, for example, girls might receive less education than boys, and women might participate in the labour market less than men or get less than their fair share of household consumption. I also provide a rationale for the institution of the dowry, and point out a possible link between compulsory education and non-cooperative marriages.
    Keywords: domestic division of labour, child care, bargaining with endogenous threat point, non cooperation, dowries, education, irreversibility
    JEL: D13 J12 J13 J24
    Date: 2006–10
  9. By: Wolfgang Lechthaler; Dennis J. Snower
    Abstract: We analyze the interaction among important institutional variables in the labor market (firing costs, minimum wages and unemployment benefits) in determining firm-provided training. We find that the institutional interactions - specifically, their degree of complementarity and substitutability - depends on employees' abilities. On this account, the institutional interactions influence skills inequality. We derive how the influence of one of the institutional variables above is affected by other institutional variables with respect to inequality skills arising from firm-provided training. We derive several striking results, such as: (a) the minimum wage and unemployment benefits generate increasing skills inequality whereas firing costs generate diminishing skills inequality; (b) unemployment benefits and firing costs are complements in their effects on skills disequalization, (c) firing costs and the minimum wage are complements in their effects on skills equalization, and (d) unemployment benefits and the minimum wage are substitution in their effects on skills inequality.
    Keywords: Firm Training, Skills Inequality, Institutions
    JEL: H32 J24
    Date: 2007–07
  10. By: Giorgio Brunello (Università di Padova,); Lorenzo Cappellari (Università Cattolica di Milano,)
    Abstract: We use data from a nationally representative survey of Italian graduates to study whether Alma Mater matters for employment and earnings three years after graduation. We find that the attended college matters, and that there are important college related differences, both among and within regions of the country. These differences, however, do not persist over time and are not large enough to trigger substantial mobility flows from poorly performing to better performing institutions. We also find evidence that going to a private university pays off at least in the early part of a career. Only part of this gain can be explained by the fact that private universities have lower pupil - teacher ratios than public institutions.
    Keywords: economic impact, efficiency, salary wage differential, school choice
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2007–04
  11. By: Stefano Bartolini; Ennio Bilancini; Maurizio Pugno
    Abstract: Most popular explanations of the happiness paradox cannot fully account for the lack of growth in U.S. reported well-being during the last thirty years (Blanchflower and Oswald (2004)). In this paper we test an alternative hypothesis, namely that the decline in U.S. social capital is responsible for what is left unexplained by previous research. We provide three main findings. First, we show that the inclusion of social capital does improve the account of reported happiness. Second, we provide evidence of a decline in social capital indicators for the period 1975-2004, confirming Putnam's claim (Putnam (2000)). Finally, we show that failed growth of happiness is largely due to the decline of social capital and, in particular, to the decline of its relational and intrinsically motivated component.
    Keywords: happiness, social capital, economic growth, relational goods, instrinsic motivations
    JEL: I3 O1
    Date: 2007–08
  12. By: Mehmet Serkan Tosun (University of Nevada, Reno); Claudia Williamson (Department of Economics, West Virginia University); Pavel Yakovlev (Department of Economics, West Virginia University)
    Abstract: Elderly have been increasingly targeted as a group to enhance economic development and the tax base in communities. A major factor in their rise in importance is the rapid increase in the number of retired elderly through aging of the U.S. population. While recent literature on elderly migration tends to focus on how elderly migration patterns are influenced by state fiscal variables, the reverse effect from elderly population on fiscal variables is very plausible as shown to be the case for estate, inheritance, and gift taxes by Conway and Rork (2006). In this paper, we reexamine the intergenerational conflict in education financing raised by Poterba (1997) using U.S. state and county level data that allows to analyze how preferences for education might vary across different elderly age groups, which has not been explored before. Moreover, this paper uses a variety of advanced econometric techniques to estimate the impact of elderly population and elderly migration on education spending. Our state and county regression results broadly support the presence of intergenerational conflict in education financing. We also find dramatic age heterogeneity in preferences for education spending among elderly migrants.
    Keywords: Population aging, elderly migration, education spending, intergenerational conflict
    JEL: H75 R23
    Date: 2007–08
  13. By: Arnaud Degorre; Bénédicte Reynaud
    Abstract: Using an exhaustive database with labour, accounting and financial market information on French firms (1994-2000), the authors analyse the causes and the consequences of a workforce reduction in 1996 - the year chosen as reference - on firms' performance in a long term perspective. One important contribution to the topic consists in comparing the estimates of publicly-listed and non-listed companies. As far as we know, the comparative method had not be used before. A logistic model shows that in both groups, headcount reduction occurs in less-productive and financially distressed firms, resorting to downsizing as a defensive response to an adverse economic shock. However, the former anticipates better than the latter the decision to eliminate jobs. An econometric model that captures the initial characteristics of the firms, suggests the major performance indicators are significantly improved only for non-listed companies. Yet, there is no net gain on the full period studied.
    Date: 2007
  14. By: Federico Biagi (Università di Padova); Danilo Cavapozzi (Università di Padova); Raffaele Miniaci (Università di Brescia)
    Abstract: In our work we study the role of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills and their utilization in the retirement decision. We provide empirical evidence based on Italian panel data in favour of the hypothesis that - ceteris paribus - better educated male employees with ICT know-how retire later. Such effect is stronger the longer the time horizon considered, and its magnitude is remarkably larger than the one observed in US and Germany in previous studies. We also document that ICT do not play a crucial role in the retirement decision of women. Our results are robust to the estimation strategy adopted.
    Keywords: retirement, skill-biased technological change
    JEL: J26 J24 J14
    Date: 2007–07
  15. By: Beckerman, Carina (Dept. of Business Administration, Stockholm School of Economics)
    Abstract: Improving the artefacts a knowledge worker uses and how he or she exercises his or her knowledge is a desire that is part of being professional, especially since we are supposed to live in a knowledge society. In the knowledge society there is a continuous structuring and re-structuring, construction and re-construction and learning and re-learning going on due to implementing new information and communication technology. But many of these so called IT-projects fail, especially within health care in spite of management spending huge amounts of money on them. This paper focuses on and wants to create an awareness of how an artefact such as a new knowledge management system becomes a driving force behind expanding the knowledge of an anesthesist and has implications for continuous learning among a group of employees at the anesthesia and intensive care clinic. Implementing new technology is an underestimated opportunity for learning. More importantly, this paper also suggests that a significant educational effort is taking place in society channelled through many these IT-projects, even when they fail.
    Keywords: professional artefacts; learning; knowledge management system; knowledge management; the knowledge society.
    Date: 2007–08–09
  16. By: Mishra, SK
    Abstract: The paper discusses how and why the theories of neo-classical economics are inadequate to provide a framework to human resource management and therefore must give way to dynamic gradual optimization procedure based on the principles of bounded rationality and satisficing behaviour in dealing with the problems of an adaptive complex system of business organization. It also widens the scope of human resource management to include crowd-sourcing.
    Keywords: Human resource management; bounded rationality; adaptive complex system; satisficing behaviour; dynamic gradual optimization; crowd-sourcing
    JEL: L20 J50 J20
    Date: 2007–08–04
  17. By: Wolfgang Härdle; Sigbert Klinke; Uwe Ziegenhagen
    Abstract: Students of introductory courses consider statistics as particularly difficult, as the understanding of the underlying concepts may require more time and energy than for other disciplines. For decades statisticians have tried to enhance understanding with the help of technical solutions such as animation, video or interactive tools. However it is not clear if the added value generated by these e-learning tools justifies the work invested. In this paper the experience with various e-learning solutions in terms of utility and the impact on teaching is discussed.
    Keywords: E-Learning, Statistics, Web-based Learning.
    JEL: I21 C19
    Date: 2007–08
  18. By: Alberto Dalmazzo; Guido De Blasio
    Abstract: We provide a spatial equilibrium model with skill heterogeneity and then bring the model to data on workers living in Italian cities. Theoretically, we postulate that agglomeration to affect both production and consumption. Moreover, we allow the evaluation of urban amenities to vary across skill-groups. Empirically, we find evidence of a substantial urban rent premium, while we fail to find support for the urban wage premium. These results apply more dramatically to higheducated individuals, who care about the consumption effects of agglomeration disproportionately more than their lesseducated counterparts. We show that urban skilled workers benefit from jobs of higher quality (better working environment; higher consideration received by others) and valuate amenities more (local public goods, such as transportation, health and schooling services; shopping possibilities, and the cultural consumption potentials made possible by the location of cinemas, theaters, and museums).
    Keywords: agglomeration, cities.
    JEL: R0
    Date: 2007–04
  19. By: Claudio A. Piga (Dept of Economics, Loughborough University); Giuseppe Medda (DEIR, University of Sassari, Italy.)
    Abstract: We study whether a firm’s total factor productivity dynamics is positively influenced by its own R&D activity and by the technological spillovers generated at the intra- and inter-sectorial level. Our approach corrects simultaneously for the endogeneity and the selectivity biases introduced by the use of a firm’s own R&D as a regressor. A firm’s involvement in R&D activities accounts for significant productivity gains. Firms also benefit from spillovers originating from their own industries, as well as from innovative upstream sectors.
    Keywords: R&D, TFP, selectivity, treatment effect
    JEL: C21 C80 D24 O30
    Date: 2007–07
  20. By: Massimo D'Antoni; Maria Alessandra Rossi
    Abstract: This article aims at clarifying the role played by licenses within the increasingly relevant Open Source Software (OSS) phenomenon. In particular, the article explores from a theoretical point of view the comparative properties of the two main categories of OSS license--copyleft and non-copyleft licenses--in terms of their ability to stimulate innovation and coordination of development efforts. In order to do so, the paper relies on an incomplete contracting model. The model shows that, in spite of the fact that copyleft licenses entail the enjoyment of a narrower set of rights by both licensors and licensees, they may be preferred to non-copyleft licenses when coordination of complementary investments in development is important. It thus provides a non-ideologically-based explanation for the puzzling evidence showing the dominance, in terms of diffusion, of copyleft licenses.
    Keywords: intellectual property rights, open source, copyright, copyleft, GPL license, incentives to innovation.
    JEL: L17 O34
    Date: 2007–08

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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