nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2008‒03‒25
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Rome, La Sapienza

  1. Social Security, Education, Retirement and Growth. By Amaia Iza; Cruz A. Echevarría
  2. Information and Human Capital Management By Heski Bar-Isaac; Ian Jewitt; Clare Leaver
  3. Brain Drain and its Determinants: A Major Issue for Small States By Beine, Michel; Docquier, Frédéric; Schiff, Maurice
  4. Qualifying Religion: The Role of Plural Identities for Educational Production By Timo Boppart; Josef Falkinger; Volker Grossmann; Ulrich Woitek; Gabriela Wüthrich
  5. The Health Returns to Education: What Can We Learn from Twins? By Lundborg, Petter
  6. Cyclical Skill-Biased Technological Change By Almut Balleer; Thijs van Rens
  7. The Higher Educational Transformation of China and Its Global Implications By Yao Li; John Whalley; Shunming Zhang; Xiliang Zhao
  8. The African Brain Drain: Scope and Determinants By Abdeslam Marfouk
  9. Does Mentoring Reduce Turnover and Improve Skills of New Employees? Evidence from Teachers in New York City By Jonah E. Rockoff
  10. Are Computers Good for Children? The Effects of Home Computers on Educational Outcomes By Daniel O. Beltran; Kuntal K. Das; Robert W. Fairlie

  1. By: Amaia Iza (The University of the Basque Country); Cruz A. Echevarría (The University of the Basque Country)
    Abstract: n this paper we analyze the effects of social security policies in an unfunded, earnings-related social security system on the incentives to education investment and voluntary retirement, on growth and on income inequality. Growth is endogenously driven by human capital investment, individuals differ in their innate (learning) ability at birth, and the pension scheme includes a minimum pension. More skilled individuals spend more on education, minimum pensions reduce low skill individuals' incentives to invest in human capital, there is no monotonic relationship between per capita growth and income inequality.
    Keywords: Social Security; Pay-as-you-go; Voluntary Retirement; Human Capital; Minimum Pension
    JEL: O40 H55 J10
    Date: 2008–03–11
  2. By: Heski Bar-Isaac; Ian Jewitt; Clare Leaver
    Abstract: An increasingly important organisational design problem for many firms is to recoup general human capital rents while maintaining the attractive career prospects for workers. We explore the role of information management in this context. In our model, an information management policy determines the statistic of worker performance that will be available to outside recruiters. Choosing different statistics affects the extent of regression to the mean which, we show, in turn affects the incidence of adverse selection among retained and released workers. Using this observation, we detail how optimal information management policies vary across firms with different human capital management priorities. This view of human capital management via information management has strong implications for labour market outcomes. We discuss the impact on average wages, wage inequality, wage skewness and labour turnover rates.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Information Disclosure, Regression to the Mean, Adverse Selection, Turnover, Wage Distribution, Human Resource Management
    JEL: D82 J24 L21
    Date: 2007
  3. By: Beine, Michel (University of Luxembourg); Docquier, Frédéric (Catholic University of Louvain); Schiff, Maurice (World Bank)
    Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between the brain drain and country size, as well as the extent of small states’ overall loss of human capital. We find that small states are the main losers because they i) lose a larger proportion of their skilled labor force and ii) exhibit stronger reactions to standard push factors. We also observe that the correlation between human capital indicators and country size is close to zero. This suggests that small states are more successful in producing skilled natives and less successful in retaining them.
    Keywords: brain drain, small states, human capital, openness
    JEL: F22 J24 J61 O15
    Date: 2008–03
  4. By: Timo Boppart; Josef Falkinger; Volker Grossmann; Ulrich Woitek; Gabriela Wüthrich
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of religious denomination for human capital formation. We employ a unique data set which covers, inter alia, information on numerous measures of school inputs in 169 Swiss districts for the years 1871/72, 1881/82 and 1894/95, marks from pedagogical examinations of conscripts (1875-1903), and results from political referenda to capture conservative or progressive values in addition to the cultural characteristics language and religion. Catholic districts show on average significantly lower educational performance than Protestant districts. However, accounting for other sociocultural characteristics qualifies the role of religion for educational production. The evidence suggests that Catholicism is harmful only in a conservative milieu. We also exploit information on absenteeism of pupils from school to separate provision of schooling from use of schooling.
    Keywords: Culture; Educational production, Plural identity, Religious denomination, School inputs
    JEL: I20 H52 O10 N33
    Date: 2008–03
  5. By: Lundborg, Petter (Free University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the health returns to education, using data on identical twins. I adopt a twin-differences strategy in order to obtain estimates that are not biased by unobserved family background and genetic traits that may affect both education and health. I further investigate to what extent within-twin-pair differences in schooling correlates with within-twin-pair differences in early life health and parent-child relations. The results suggest a causal effect of education on health. Higher educational levels are found to be positively related to self-reported health but negatively related to the number of chronic conditions. Lifestyle factors, such as smoking and overweight, are found to contribute little to the education/health gradient. I am also able to rule out occupational hazards and health insurance coverage as explanations for the gradient. In addition, I find no evidence of heterogenous effects of education by parental education. Finally, the results suggest that factors that may vary within twin pairs, such as birth weight, early life health, parental treatment and relation with parents, do not predict within-twin pair differences in schooling, lending additional credibility to my estimates and to the general validity of using a twin-differences design to study the returns to education.
    Keywords: health production, education, schooling, twins, siblings, returns to education, ability bias
    JEL: I12 I11 J14 J12 C41
    Date: 2008–03
  6. By: Almut Balleer; Thijs van Rens
    Abstract: Over the past two decades, technological progress has been biased towards making skilled labor more productive. The evidence for this finding is based on the persistent parallel increase in the skill premium and the supply of skilled workers. What are the implications of skill-biased technological change for the business cycle? To answer this question, we use the CPS outgoing rotation groups to construct quarterly series for the price and quantity of skill. The unconditional correlation of the skill premium with the cycle is zero. However, using a structural VAR with long run restrictions, we find that technology shocks substantially increase the premium. Investment-specific technology shocks are not skill-biased and our findings suggest that capital and skill are (mildly) substitutable in aggregate production.
    Keywords: Skill-biased technology, skill premium, VAR, long-run restrictions, capital-skill complementarity, business cycle
    JEL: E24 E32 J24 J31
    Date: 2008–03
  7. By: Yao Li; John Whalley; Shunming Zhang; Xiliang Zhao
    Abstract: This paper documents the major transformation of higher education that has been underway in China since 1999 and evaluates its potential global impacts. Reflecting China's commitment to continued high growth through quality upgrading and the production of ideas and intellectual property as set out in both the 10th (2001-2005) and 11th (2006-2010) five-year plans, this transformation focuses on major new resource commitments to tertiary education and also embodies significant changes in organizational form. This focus on tertiary education differentiates the Chinese case from other countries who earlier at similar stages of development instead stressed primary and secondary education. The number of undergraduate and graduate students in China has been grown at approximately 30% per year since 1999, and the number of graduates at all levels of higher education in China has approximately quadrupled in the last 6 years. The size of entering classes of new students and total student enrollments have risen even faster, and have approximately quintupled. Prior to 1999 increases in these areas were much smaller. Much of the increased spending is focused on elite universities, and new academic contracts differ sharply from earlier ones with no tenure and annual publication quotas often used. All of these changes have already had large impacts on China's higher educational system and are beginning to be felt by the wider global educational structure. We suggest that even more major impacts will follow in the years to come and there are implications for global trade both directly in ideas, and in idea derived products. These changes, for now, seem relatively poorly documented in literature.
    JEL: I2 I23
    Date: 2008–03
  8. By: Abdeslam Marfouk (DULBEA-CERT, Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels)
    Abstract: This paper empirically examines the determinants of highly-skilled emigration from Africa with recent original data set on international migration. The analysis shows that 10 out of the 53 African countries have lost more than 35 per cent of the their tertiary educated labor force and countries such as Cape Verde (68 percent), Gambia (63 percent), Seychelles (56 percent), Maurice (56 percent) and Sierra Leone (53 percent) suffered from a massive brain drain. Regression models reveal that economic and noneconomic considerations have a strong impact on the African brain drain. This study finds that the degree of fractionalization (ethnic, linguistic and religious) at origin countries, jobs opportunities at destination countries, selective immigration policies, wage gap, geographical distance, former colonial links, and linguistic proximity between countries of origin and destination are the main forces driving highly-skilled emigration from Africa.
    Keywords: International Migration, Human Capital, African Brain Drain, Labor Mobility
    Date: 2008–03
  9. By: Jonah E. Rockoff
    Abstract: Mentoring has become an extremely popular policy for improving the retention and performance of new teachers, but we know little about its effects on teacher and student outcomes. I study the impact of mentoring in New York City, which adopted a nationally recognized mentoring program in 2004. I use detailed program data to examine the relationship between teacher and student outcomes and measures of mentoring quality, such as hours of mentoring received and the characteristics of mentors. Although assignment of teachers to mentors was non-random, I use instrumental variables and school fixed effects to address potential sources of bias. I find strong relationships between measures of mentoring quality and teachers' claims regarding the impact of mentors on their success in the classroom, but weaker evidence of effects on teacher absences, retention, and student achievement. The most consistent finding is that retention within a particular school is higher when a mentor has previous experience working in that school, suggesting that an important part of mentoring may be the provision of school specific knowledge. I also find evidence that student achievement in both reading and math were higher among teachers that received more hours of mentoring, supporting the notion that time spent working with a mentor does improve teaching skills.
    JEL: I2 J24 J63
    Date: 2008–03
  10. By: Daniel O. Beltran; Kuntal K. Das; Robert W. Fairlie
    Abstract: Although computers are universal in the classroom, nearly twenty million children in the United States do not have computers in their homes. Surprisingly, only a few previous studies explore the role of home computers in the educational process. Home computers might be very useful for completing school assignments, but they might also represent a distraction for teenagers. We use several identification strategies and panel data from the two main U.S. datasets that include recent information on computer ownership among children -- the 2000-2003 CPS Computer and Internet Use Supplements (CIUS) matched to the CPS Basic Monthly Files and the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1997 -- to explore the causal relationship between computer ownership and high school graduation and other educational outcomes. Teenagers who have access to home computers are 6 to 8 percentage points more likely to graduate from high school than teenagers who do not have home computers after controlling for individual, parental, and family characteristics. We generally find evidence of positive relationships between home computers and educational outcomes using several identification strategies, including controlling for typically unobservable home environment and extracurricular activities in the NLSY97, fixed effects models, instrumental variables, and including future computer ownership and falsification tests. Home computers may increase high school graduation by reducing non-productive activities, such as truancy and crime, among children in addition to making it easier to complete school assignments.
    Keywords: technology, computers, education
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2008–03

This nep-hrm issue is ©2008 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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