nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2008‒07‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Institutions, Innovation and Economic Growth By Tebaldi, Edinaldo; Elmslie, Bruce
  2. Does the color of the collar matter? Firm specific human capital and post-displacement outcomes By Schwerdt Guido; Andrea Ichino; Oliver Ruf; Rudolf Winter-Ebmer; Josef Zweimüller
  3. Technological progress, organizational change and the size of the Human Resources Department By Raouf Boucekkine; Patricia Criffo; Claudio Mattalia
  4. Can Equality in Education Be A New Anti-Corruption Tool?: Cross-Country Evidence (1990-2005) By Patrawart, Kraiyos
  5. Two Tales on the Returns to Education: The Impact of Trade on Wages By Tebaldi, Edinaldo; Kim, Jongsung
  6. Does a generous welfare state crowd out student achievement? Panel data evidence from international student tests By Torberg Falch; Justina AV Fischer
  7. Should You Compete or Cooperate with Your Schoolmates? By Bratti, Massimiliano; Checchi, Daniele; Filippin, Antonio
  8. Unequal Access to Higher Education in the Czech Republic: The Role of Spatial Distribution of Universities By Michal Franta; Martin Guzi
  9. Does the expansion of higher education increase the equality of educational opportunities? Evidence from Italy By Massimiliano Bratti; Daniele Checchi; Guido de Blasio
  10. Consumers and the Brain Drain: Product Design and the Gains from Emigration By Kuhn, Peter J.; McAusland, Carol
  11. Returns to Physician Human Capital: Analyzing Patients Randomized to Physician Teams By Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.; Steven M. Ewer; Todd H. Wagner

  1. By: Tebaldi, Edinaldo; Elmslie, Bruce
    Abstract: This article contributes to the growth literature by developing a formal growth model that provides the basis for studying institutions and technological innovation and examining how human capital and institutional constraints affect the transitional and steady state growth rates of output. The model developed in this article shows that the reason that growth models a-la-Romer (1990) generate endogenous growth is the use of a set of restrictive and unrealistic assumptions regarding the role of institutions in the economy. The baseline model developed in this article shows that the long-run growth of the economy is intrinsically linked to institutions and suggests that an economy with institutions that retard or prevent the utilization of newly invented inputs will experience low levels and low growth rates of output. The model also predicts that countries with institutional barriers that prevent or restrict the adoption of newly invented technologies will allocate a relative small share of human capital in the R&D sector. Moreover, both the baseline and the extended version of the model suggest that sustainable growth in human capital, not an increase in the stock of human capital, generates a growth effect.
    Keywords: Institutions; innovation; human capital; economic growth
    JEL: O43 O3
    Date: 2008–05–13
  2. By: Schwerdt Guido (ifo Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung e.V. (ifo Institute for Economic Research)); Andrea Ichino (University of Bolognia); Oliver Ruf (University of Zurich, Switzerland); Rudolf Winter-Ebmer (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Josef Zweimüller (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: We investigate whether the costs of job displacement differ between blue collar and white collar workers. In the short run earnings and employment losses are substantial for both groups but stronger for white collar workes. In the long run, there are only weak effects for blue collar workers but strong and persistent effects for white collars. This is consistent with the idea that firm-specific human capital and internal labor markets are more important in white-collar than in blue collar jobs.
    Keywords: Firm Specific Human Capital, Plant Closures, Matching
    JEL: J14 J65
    Date: 2008–07
  3. By: Raouf Boucekkine; Patricia Criffo; Claudio Mattalia
    Abstract: Innovative workplace practices based on multi-tasking and ICT that have been diffusing in most OECD countries since the 1990s have strong consequences on working conditions. Available data show together with the emergence of new organizational forms like multi-tasking, the increase in the proportion of workers employed in managerial occupation and the increase in skill requirements. This paper proposes a theoretical model to analyze the optimal number of tasks per worker when switching to multi-tasking raises coordination costs between workers and between tasks. Firms can reduce coordination costs by assigning more workers to human resources management. Human capital is endogenously accumulated by workers. The model reproduces pretty well the regularities observed in the data. In particular, exogenous technological accelerations tend to increase both the number of tasks performed and the skill requirements, and to raise the fraction of workers devoted to management.
    Keywords: Information Technology, Organizational Change, Human Capital, Multi-Tasking
    JEL: J22 J24 L23 O33 C62
    Date: 2008–06
  4. By: Patrawart, Kraiyos
    Abstract: Recently, expectations have been raised on the civic participation role that requires supports from free press, decent average years in education attainment and independent juridical system in controlling corruption. Even so, questions have been put forward on how far this promising approach can go. This paper asks if these determinants are sufficient for fighting corruption through civic engagement. We propose that education in particular its distribution is the crucial tool for the majority of citizens to correctly acquire the key information and skills to succeed in their anti-corruption initiatives. This paper presents the simple reduced-form theoretical model which allows education inequality among agents before it employs the cross-national panel data estimations between 1990-2005 to evaluate the anti-corruption effect of education equality across the globe. Education equality significantly shows independent and complimentary anti-corruption effects through press freedom and the length of democracy. However, the anti-corruption effect of average years in education lost its robustness when education equality measures are included in fixed effects estimation.
    Keywords: Political Economy;Corruption; Distribution of Education; Factor Analysis
    JEL: O15 I21 D72
    Date: 2008–06–09
  5. By: Tebaldi, Edinaldo; Kim, Jongsung
    Abstract: This paper uses microdata from the Current Population Survey combined with data from the U.S. International Trade Commission and Bureau of Economic Analysis to evaluate the impacts of international trade (imports penetration and exports intensiveness) on wages with a special focus on the returns to education. Consistent with the literature, our empirical analysis provides evidence that the wage rates of similarly skilled workers differ across net-exporting, net-importing and nontradable industries. Our results add to the literature by showing that the wage gap usually found across importing and exporting industries vanishes for highly-skilled workers (workers with college degree and beyond) when we control for the cross-effect between international trade and education, but the wage gap due to international trade still persists for low-skilled workers. This finding supports the view that education serves as an equalizer and counterbalances the adverse impact from imports-penetration on wages of highly-skilled workers
    Keywords: Trade; Returns to Education; Wage Differential
    JEL: F16 J3
    Date: 2008–07–07
  6. By: Torberg Falch; Justina AV Fischer
    Abstract: Student achievement has been identified as important contributor to economic growth. This paper investigates the relationship between redistributive government activities and investment in human capital measured by student performance in international comparative tests in Mathematics and Science during the period 1980 to 2003. In fixed effects panel models, government consumption, government social expenditures, and the progressivity of the income tax system have negative effects on student achievement. We report results from a variety of model specifications and social expenditure components, and our best estimate indicates that increased government size by 10 percent reduces student achievement by 0.1 standard deviations.
    Keywords: Student achievement; welfare state; government size; tax system; panel data; international tests
    Date: 2008
  7. By: Bratti, Massimiliano (University of Milan); Checchi, Daniele (University of Milan); Filippin, Antonio (University of Milan)
    Abstract: Building upon some education studies finding that cooperative behaviour in class yields better achievements among students, this paper presents a simple model showing that free riding incentives lead to an insufficient degree of cooperation between schoolmates, which in turn decreases the overall achievement. A cooperative learning approach may instead emerge when competitive behaviour is negatively evaluated by schoolmates, especially when the class is more homogeneous in terms of students’ characteristics (e.g., ability). Empirical evidence supporting our model is found using the 2003 wave of the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) survey on students’ literacy levels. A competitive learning approach has a positive individual return (higher in comprehensive educational systems), while student performance increases with the average cooperative behaviour, particularly in tracked educational systems.
    Keywords: cooperation, competition, PISA, student attitudes
    JEL: I21 J24
    Date: 2008–07
  8. By: Michal Franta; Martin Guzi
    Abstract: The Czech Republic exhibits high geographical variation of both human capital and universities. We examine a potential source of human capital spatial disparities: the unequal access to tertiary education caused by the absence/presence of a local university. We model both a secondary school graduate’s decision whether to apply to a university and a university’s decision about admission. Two possible sources of unequal access to university study are distinguished: cost savings and informational advantages for those residing close to a university. Estimation results suggest that the local neighborhood having a highly educated population, rather than the presence of a university per se, has a positive effect on a secondary school graduate’s decision to apply. Moreover, we find that heterogenous information plays a significant role in admission to university.
    Keywords: Human capital, spatial distribution, access to tertiary education.
    JEL: I20 I21 J24
    Date: 2008–03
  9. By: Massimiliano Bratti (Univesrity of Milan); Daniele Checchi (Univesrity of Milan); Guido de Blasio (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper studies the role of the expansion of higher education supply in increasing the equality of post-secondary education opportunities. It examines ItalyÂ’s experience during the 1990s, when policy changes prompted universities to offer a wider range of degree courses and to open new campuses. Our analysis focuses on full-time students (not older than 31); the results suggest that the expansion had only limited effects in terms of reducing individual inequality in higher education achievement. That is, the greater availability of courses had a significant positive impact only on the probability of enrolment, not on that of obtaining a university degree, while the opening of new campuses had no effect.
    Keywords: Higher Education, family background, Italy
    JEL: I2
    Date: 2008–06
  10. By: Kuhn, Peter J. (University of California, Santa Barbara); McAusland, Carol (University of Maryland)
    Abstract: We consider the welfare effects of skilled worker emigration in a context where skilled labor plays a role in product design. We show such emigration can benefit the residents left behind, even when consumers’ tastes exhibit a form of home bias. This is because emigration improves the design of goods designed by skilled emigrants but consumed in the sending country. In contrast to existing models of beneficial brain drain, our results do not require agglomeration economies, education-related externalities, remittances, return migration, or an emigration “lottery”. Instead, they are driven purely by differences in market size that induce skilled emigrants to design better products abroad than at home.
    Keywords: brain drain, international labor migration, product quality
    JEL: F22 J6 O34
    Date: 2008–07
  11. By: Joseph J. Doyle, Jr.; Steven M. Ewer; Todd H. Wagner
    Abstract: Patient sorting can confound estimates of the returns to physician human capital. This paper compares nearly 30,000 patients who were randomly assigned to clinical teams from one of two academic institutions. One institution is among the top medical schools in the country, while the other institution is ranked lower in the quality distribution. Patients treated by the two teams have identical observable characteristics and have access to a single set of facilities and ancillary staff. Those treated by physicians from the higher-ranked institution have 10-25% shorter and less expensive stays than patients assigned to the lower-ranked institution. Health outcomes are not related to the physician team assignment, and the estimates are precise. Procedure differences across the teams are consistent with the ability of physicians in the lower-ranked institution to substitute time and diagnostic tests for the faster judgments of physicians from the top-ranked institution.
    JEL: I12 J24
    Date: 2008–07

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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