nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2008‒03‒15
seventeen papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Regional Unemployment and Human Capital in Transition Economies By Stepan Jurajda; Katherine Terrell
  2. What Happened to the PISA 2000 Participants Five Years Later? By Bertschy, Kathrin; Cattaneo, Alejandra; Wolter, Stefan
  3. Does the Expansion of Higher Education Increase the Equality of Educational Opportunities? Evidence from Italy By Bratti, Massimiliano; Checchi, Daniele; de Blasio, Guido
  4. Economic Growth: Education as a Factor of Production By Osipian, Ararat
  5. Inequality of Learning amongst Immigrant Children in Industrialised Countries By Schnepf, Sylke V.
  6. Vouchers, tests, loans, privatization: Will they help (fight) higher education corruption in Russia? By Osipian, Ararat
  7. Remittances, Liquidity Constraints and Human Capital Investments in Ecuador By Calero, Carla; Bedi, Arjun S.; Sparrow, Robert
  8. Economic Growth—Human Capital Nexus in Post-Soviet Ukraine, 1989-2009 By Osipian, Ararat
  9. Income Inequality and Education from ECHP data By Marco LILLA
  10. How important are human capital, physical capital and total factor productivity for determining state economic growth in the United States: 1840-2000? By Turner, Chad; Tamura, Robert; Mulholland, Sean
  11. An Analysis of FEE-HELP in the Vocational Education and Training Sector By Bruce Chapman; Mark Rodrigues; Chris Ryan
  12. The role of education for the duration of unemplyment in Gorj County By Danacica, Daniela-Emanuela; Babucea, Ana-Gabriela
  13. Brain Drain and Productivity Growth: Are Small States Different? By Schiff, Maurice; Wang, Yanling
  14. Education and Labor Market Consequences of Teenage Childbearing: Evidence Using the Timing of Pregnancy Outcomes and Community Fixed Effects By Jason M. Fletcher; Barbara L. Wolfe
  15. Where Do the Brainy Italians Go? By Constant, Amelie; D'Agosto, Elena
  16. Skill Specific Unemployment with Imperfect Substitution of Skills By Runli Xie
  17. The Impact of Training on Productivity: Evidence from a Large Panel of Firms By Emilio Colombo; Luca Stanca

  1. By: Stepan Jurajda; Katherine Terrell
    Abstract: Differences in regional unemployment in post-communist economies are large and persistent. We show that inherited variation in human-capital endowment across the regions of four such economies explains the bulk of regional unemployment variation there and we explore potential explanations for this outcome through related capital and labor mobility patterns. The evidence suggests that regions with high inherited skill endowments attract skilled workers as well as FDI. This mobility pattern, which helps explain the lack of convergence in regional unemployment rates, is consistent with the presence of complementarities in skill and capital. Nevertheless, we find no supporting evidence of human capital wage spillovers implied by the complementarities story. Unemployment of the least-skilled workers appears lower in areas with a higher share of college-educated labor and future research is needed to see if this finding as well as the observed migration pattern arise from different adjustments to regional shocks by education level brought about in part by Central European labor-market institutions, such as guaranteed welfare income raising effective minimum wages.
    Keywords: Unemployment, Human capital, Regional labor markets, Transition economies, Labor Mobility, Complementarities, Spillovers, Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Ukraine.
    JEL: E24 J0 J61
    Date: 2007–12
  2. By: Bertschy, Kathrin (University of Bern); Cattaneo, Alejandra (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education); Wolter, Stefan (Swiss Co-ordination Center for Research in Education)
    Abstract: The transition from school-to-work has been a burning issue in most countries for the last decades. So far research on this topic has not been conclusive, and it is still not clear whether transition problems are just individual, linked to the type of education followed at upper-secondary level, or just a prolongation of problems arising from poor school performance during compulsory education. This paper uses a unique Swiss longitudinal data-set, which includes information on PISA 2000 scores and the pathways chosen after completing compulsory school. Descriptive results show that students in vocational training, who obtained lower PISA results, are significantly more likely to be in an inadequate employment situation two years after finishing vocational training. Further analysis shows, however, that it is the type of vocational training followed at upper-secondary level that is decisive for the success in the transition. Nevertheless, individual PISA scores have an indirect impact on the transition results, as they are an important factor explaining which pupils are more likely to get into an intellectually demanding vocational training and which ones are not.
    Keywords: vocational training, transition, PISA
    JEL: I2 J24
    Date: 2008–01
  3. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Checchi, Daniele (University of Milan); de Blasio, Guido (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the role of the expansion of higher education (HE) in increasing the equality of tertiary education opportunities. It examines Italy’s experience during the 1990s, when policy changes prompted HE institutions to offer a wider range of degrees and to open new sites in neighbouring provinces. Our analysis focuses on non-mature full-time students and the results suggest that the expansion might have had only limited effects in terms of reducing existing individual inequality in HE achievement as the greater availability of courses had a significantly positive impact only on the probability of university enrolment but not on that of obtaining a university degree.
    Keywords: family background, higher education, Italy
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2008–02
  4. By: Osipian, Ararat
    Abstract: This book presents theoretical and empirical investigation of the possible impact of human capital on economic growth in transition economies of Ukraine, Russia, Poland, and Hungary during the period of 1990-2007. This research defines place and role of human capital in the process of transition from the exogenous to the endogenous forms of growth and socio-economic development. Substantial part of the book is devoted to the integrative scholarly synthesis with the special emphasis on theoretical aspects of economic growth. The research presents both exogenous and endogenous models of growth, including Harrod-Domar, Solow, Solow-Swan, Leontief, Mankiw, Barro, and other models.
    Keywords: economic growth; human capital; transition
    JEL: O47 P24 J24
    Date: 2007–12–01
  5. By: Schnepf, Sylke V. (University of Southampton)
    Abstract: Literature examining immigrants’ educational disadvantage across countries focuses generally on average differences in educational outcomes between immigrants and natives disguising thereby that immigrants are a highly heterogeneous group. The aim of this paper is to examine educational inequalities among immigrants in eight high immigration countries: Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, UK and USA. Results indicate that for almost all countries immigrants’ educational dispersion is considerably higher than for natives. For most countries higher educational dispersion derives from very low achieving immigrants. Quantile regression results reveal that at lower percentiles language skills impact more on educational achievement than at the top of the achievement distribution. Results are presented separately for immigrants of different age cohorts, varying time of immigrants’ residence in the host country and subject examined (maths and reading) highlighting thereby the different patterns found by immigrant group and achievement measure.
    Keywords: education, educational inequalities, immigration, PISA, TIMSS, PIRLS
    JEL: I21 J15 O15
    Date: 2008–02
  6. By: Osipian, Ararat
    Abstract: Russian higher education is in the process of reforming. Introduction of the standardized computer-graded test and educational vouchers was intended to increase accessibility of higher education, make its funding more effective, and reduce corruption in admissions to public colleges. The idea of vouchers failed while the test faces furious opposition and crises. This paper considers vouchers, standardized tests, educational loans, and privatization as related to educational corruption. The test is criticized by many for being a cause of the further increase in educational corruption. However, the test is needed to replace the outdated admissions policy based on the entry examinations. This paper considers the growing de facto privatization of the nation’s higher education as a fundamental process that should be legalized and formalized. It suggests further restructuring of the higher education industry, its decentralization and privatization, and sees educational loans as a necessary part of the future system of educational funding.
    Keywords: corruption; education; loans; privatization; reform; Russia; vouchers
    JEL: D73 P36
    Date: 2007–05–01
  7. By: Calero, Carla (Ministerio de Coordinación de Desarrollo Social- SIISE); Bedi, Arjun S. (Institute of Social Studies); Sparrow, Robert (Institute of Social Studies)
    Abstract: Over the last decade Ecuador has experienced a strong increase in financial transfers from migrated workers, amounting to 6.4 percent of GDP and 31.5 percent of total exports of goods and services in 2005. This paper investigates how remittances via trans-national networks affect human capital investments through relaxing resource constraints and facilitate households in consumption smoothing by reducing vulnerability to economic shocks. In particular, we explore the effects of remittances on school enrolment and child work in Ecuador. Identification relies on instrumental variables, exploiting information on source countries of remittances and regional variation in the availability of bank offices that function as formal channels for sending remittances. Our results show that remittances increase school enrolment and decrease incidence of child work, especially for girls and in rural areas. Furthermore, we find that aggregate shocks are associated with increased work activities, while remittances are used to finance education when households are faced with these shocks. This suggests that liquidity constraints and vulnerability to covariate risk are especially relevant in rural areas, as it affects household’s investments in human capital of school age children. In this context both child labour supply and transnational remittances serve as coping mechanisms.
    Keywords: migration, remittances, trans-national networks, education, child labour, Ecuador
    Date: 2008–02
  8. By: Osipian, Ararat
    Abstract: This book presents theoretical and empirical investigation of economic growth and the possible impact of human capital on economic growth in Ukraine, the Russian Federation, Poland, and Hungary during the period of 1989-2009. This research defines place and role of human capital in the process of transition from the exogenous to the endogenous forms of growth and socio-economic development. It research presents an extended statistical analysis of transition economies. Substantial part of the book is devoted to the integrative scholarly synthesis with the special emphasis on theoretical aspects of economic growth.
    Keywords: economic growth; human capital; transition
    JEL: O47 P24 J24
    Date: 2008–01–01
  9. By: Marco LILLA (Universita' Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Economia)
    Abstract: This paper analyses income inequality and its changes over the period 1993-2000 for a set of 13 Countries in European Community Household Panel (ECHP) survey. Focusing on wages and incomes of workers in general, inequality is related to education as a proxy of individual abilities, skills. Estimation of education premia is performed by quantile regressions to stress dikerences in income distribution and questioning the true impact of education. The same estimates are used to decompose income inequality and show the rise in residual inequality.
    Keywords: education premium, inequality, quantile regression
    JEL: D31 J24 J31
    Date: 2008–02
  10. By: Turner, Chad; Tamura, Robert; Mulholland, Sean
    Abstract: This paper creates a new data set on physical capital at the state level for the United States from 1840 - 2000. Combining these new data with state level human capital and output data enables us to estimate the contribution of aggregate input growth and total factor productivity (TFP) growth to output growth across states from 1840 - 2000, and to decompose the cross-sectional variance of output growth into the component explained by variation in aggregate inputs and the compenent explained by variation in TFP. As our data are across states instead of across countries, one would expect less institutional heterogeneity in this study than in studies using cross-country comparisons. We find that that 65% of average output growth from 1840 - 2000 is accounted for by average input growth. We find a plausible upper bound of output variation explained by TFP growth is 91%, while a plausible upper bound of output variation explained by input growth is 62%. Interestingly, even at the state level where the unit of observation is more homogeneous, TFP continues to be an important determinant of both the growth of and the variation of output per worker.
    Keywords: state physical capital; state human capital; state real output; state total factor productivity
    JEL: E01 O4
    Date: 2008–02–11
  11. By: Bruce Chapman; Mark Rodrigues; Chris Ryan
    Abstract: The public vocational education and training (VET) system is now one of the few areas in Australia’s tertiary education system where students are required to pay up-front fees without access to loan assistance. These arrangements may lead to sub-optimal educational outcomes to the extent that prospective students reject a VET education on the basis of short-term financial constraints. In this paper we analyse some of the important issues related to the adoption of FEE-HELP (a 2005 Federal Government financial instrument based on the Higher Education Contribution Scheme (HECS)). It is argued that income contingent loans of this kind are associated with the advantages of both default-protection and consumption smoothing. Using data from the first three waves of the Household Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey, we examine various empirical issues associated with the adoption of FEE-HELP in VET, including the extent of private salary returns to VET qualifications. As well, we explore issues related to the public subsidies inherent in the adoption of FEE-HELP in VET, and illustrate the time periods involved in loan repayments for various assumptions concerning the size of the charge and the future income of VET graduates. Administrative issues are considered, as are the implications for the Commonwealth Government with respect to potential subsidies associated with the design parameters.
    Keywords: educational finance, educational economics, vocational education
    JEL: I22 I28
    Date: 2008–02
  12. By: Danacica, Daniela-Emanuela; Babucea, Ana-Gabriela
    Abstract: In this paper are presented the results of the ASO international project “The Role of Education for the Duration of Unemployment” for Gorj County. Using techniques to estimate models for duration data, like the Kaplan Meier method and Cox’s proportional hazard model, this project answer to the following question: does the education level influence the duration of unemployment in Gorj County? The influences of age and gender on duration of unemployment spells are also estimated
    Keywords: unemployment education level labour market gender
    JEL: J45 J40
    Date: 2007
  13. By: Schiff, Maurice (World Bank); Wang, Yanling (Carleton University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the impact of North-South trade-related technology diffusion on TFP growth in small and large states in the South. The main findings are: i) TFP growth increases with North-South trade-related technology diffusion, with education, and with the interaction between the two, and it decreases with the emigration of skilled labor (brain drain); ii) these effects are substantially (over three times) larger in small states than in large ones. Small states also exhibit a much higher brain drain level. Consequently, the brain drain generates greater losses in terms of TFP growth both because of its greater sensitivity to the brain drain and because the brain drain is substantially larger in small than in large states.
    Keywords: trade, technology diffusion, brain drain, productivity growth
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2008–02
  14. By: Jason M. Fletcher; Barbara L. Wolfe
    Abstract: The question of whether giving birth as a teenager has negative economic consequences for the mother remains controversial despite substantial research. In this paper, we build upon existing literature, especially the literature that uses the experience of teenagers who had a miscarriage as the appropriate comparison group. We show that miscarriages are not random events, but rather are likely correlated with (unobserved) community-level factors, casting some doubt on previous findings. Including community-level fixed effects in our specifications lead to important changes in our estimates. By making use of information on the timing of miscarriages as well as birth control choices preceding the teenage pregnancies we construct more relevant control groups for teenage mothers. We find evidence that teenage childbearing likely reduces the probability of receiving a high school diploma by 5 to 10 percentage points, reduces annual income as a young adult by $1,000 to $2,400, and may increase the probability of receiving cash assistance and decrease years of schooling.
    JEL: J13 J24
    Date: 2008–03
  15. By: Constant, Amelie (DIW DC, Georgetown University and IZA); D'Agosto, Elena (University of Rome Tor Vergata)
    Abstract: This paper studies the major determinants that affect the country choice of the talented Italian scientists and researchers who have at least a bachelor’s from Italy and live abroad. There are three alternative country choices: the US/Canada, the UK, and other EU countries. On average, the brainy Italians exhibit a higher predicted probability to go to the US. Ceteris paribus, both push and pull factors are important. While having a Ph.D. from outside Italy predicts the UK choice, having extra working experience from outside Italy predicts migration to other EU countries. Those who stay abroad temporarily for two to four years are definitely more likely to go to the UK. Specialization in the fields of humanities, social sciences, and health are strong determinants of migration to the UK. For the move to the US, while the humanities area is a significant deterrent, health is a positive deciding factor. Lack of funds in Italy constitutes a significant push to the US.
    Keywords: brain drain, skilled migration, Italy, push-pull factors
    JEL: J61 J24 F22
    Date: 2008–01
  16. By: Runli Xie
    Abstract: A large body of literature explains the inferior position of unskilled workers by imposing a structural shift in the labor force skill composition. This paper takes a different approach by emphasizing the connection between cyclical variations in skilled and unskilled labor markets. Using a stylized business cycle model with search frictions in the respective sub-markets, I find that imperfect substitution between skilled and unskilled labor creates a channel for the variations in the sub-markets. Together with a general labor augment- ing technology shock, it can generate downward sloping Beveridge curves. Calibrating the model to US data yields higher volatilities in the unskilled labor markets and reproduces stylized business cycle facts.
    Keywords: business cycle, search frictions, skill specific unemployment, skill substitutability
    JEL: E24 E32 J63
    Date: 2008–03
  17. By: Emilio Colombo; Luca Stanca
    Abstract: This paper investigates the e®ects of training on labor productiv- ity using a unique nationally representative panel of Italian ¯rms for the period 2002 to 2005. We ¯nd that training has a positive and signi¯cant e®ect on productivity. Using a variety of panel estimation techniques, we show that failing to account for unobserved heterogene- ity leads to overestimate the impact of training on productivity, while failing to account for endogeneity leads to substantially underestimate it. Training also has a positive and signi¯cant impact on wages, but this e®ect is about half the size of the e®ect on productivity. Within occupational groups, the e®ect of training on productivity is large and signi¯cant for blue-collars, but small and not signi¯cant for white collars.
    Keywords: On-the-Job-Training; Productivity; Wages; Panel Data
    JEL: C23 D24 J31
    Date: 2008–01

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