nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2009‒09‒11
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Human Capital and Economic Growth in Spain, 1850-2000 By Leandro Prados de la Escosura; Joan R. Roses
  2. The Effect of Maternal Depression and Substance Abuse on Child Human Capital Development By Richard G. Frank; Ellen Meara
  3. How do high school graduates in Japan compete for regular, full time jobs? An empirical analysis based upon an internet survey of the youth By Kenn Ariga; Masako Kurosawa; Fumio Ohtake; Masaru Sasaki
  4. Should we transfer resources from college to basic education? By Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene; Marisa Hidalgo
  5. Occupational Mobility Within and Between Skill Clusters: An Empirical Analysis Based on the Skill-Weights Approach By Regula Geel; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  6. Territorial Capital and Regional Growth: Increasing Returns in Cognitive Knowledge Use By Roberta Capello; Andrea Caragliu; Peter Nijkamp
  7. Culture Values Entrepreneurship and Growth By Jellal, Mohamed
  8. Risk aversion and schooling decisions By Christian Belzil; Marco Leonardi
  9. Uncertain Longevity and Investment in Education By Eytan Sheshinski

  1. By: Leandro Prados de la Escosura; Joan R. Roses
    Abstract: We investigate human capital accumulation in Spain using alternative approaches based on the concept of ‘labor quality’ and on the idea of education. We, then, assess the effect of human capital accumulation on labor productivity growth and discuss the implications of the different measures for TFP growth. While long-run trends in human capital are similar with either measure, the skill premium approach fits better Spanish historical experience. Human capital provided a positive albeit small contribution to labor productivity growth facilitating technological innovation. Broad capital accumulation and efficiency gains appear complementary in Spain’s long-term growth.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Growth, Labor Productivity, Total Factor
    JEL: E24 J24 O47 N33 N34
    Date: 2009–08
  2. By: Richard G. Frank; Ellen Meara
    Abstract: Recent models of human capital formation represent a synthesis of the human capital approach and a life cycle view of human development that is grounded in neuroscience (Heckman 2007). This model of human development, the stability of the home and parental mental health can have notable impacts on skill development in children that may affect the stock of human capital in adults (Knudsen, Heckman et al. 2006; Heckman 2007). We study effects of maternal depression and substance abuse on children born to mothers in the initial cohort of the 1979 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY), a national household survey of high school students aged 14-22 in 1979. We follow 1587 children aged 1-5 in 1987, observing them throughout childhood and into high school. We employ a variety of methods to identify the effect of maternal depression and substance abuse on child behavioral, cognitive, and educational related outcomes. We find no evidence that maternal symptoms of depression affect contemporaneous cognitive scores in children. However, maternal depression symptoms have a moderately large effect on child behavioral problems. These findings suggest that the social benefits of effective behavioral health interventions may be understated. Based on evidence linking early life outcomes to later well-being, efforts to prevent and/or treat mental and addictive disorders in mothers and other women of childbearing age have the potential to improve outcomes of their children not only early in life, but throughout the life cycle.
    JEL: I1
    Date: 2009–09
  3. By: Kenn Ariga (Institute of Economic Research, Kyoto University); Masako Kurosawa (National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies); Fumio Ohtake (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University); Masaru Sasaki (Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University)
    Abstract: We use a survey of the Japanese youth within 10 year after high school graduation to investiage the impacts of the academic and social skills on their success in the job market. We find three major factors account for the job market outcome immediately after school: school characteristics and job placement services, academic performance, and social skills, including the negative impacts of problematic behaviors at the school. Second, when we run a Probit regression on whether or not the surveyed individuals hold regular, full time job, we find the persistent but declining (over age) im- pact of the job placement immediately after school. Moreover, we find the impact of variables pertaining to the sociall skills remain significant even after controling for the job placement outcome after school, whereas other variables such as GPA or attributes of highschools are largely irrelevant to the current employment status.
    Date: 2009–08
  4. By: Iñigo Iturbe-Ormaetxe Kortajarene (Universidad de Alicante); Marisa Hidalgo (Universidad de Alicante)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes public intervention in education, taking into account the existence of two educational levels: basic education and college education. The government decides per capita expenditure at each level and the subsidy for college education. We explore the effects of transferring resources from one level to the other on equity and efficiency, where efficiency refers to average productivity of college graduates. Except in the special case in which the economy is at the Equity-Efficiency Frontier (EEF), there is always a policy reform that increases the productivity of college graduates without excluding the talented poor from college. For developed countries, this policy consists of transferring resources from college to basic education.
    Keywords: Basic education, college education, public expenditure in education
    JEL: H52 I28 J24
    Date: 2009–01
  5. By: Regula Geel (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: Mobility and flexibility is increasingly demanded as structural change challenges estab-lished educational systems and traditional occupational demarcations. We use Lazear’s skill-weights approach (2003) first to operationalize the degree of specificity of skill com-binations in an innovative manner and second to derive hypotheses about the effects of occupation-specific skill combinations. In our empirical section, we find that the more specific an occupation, the smaller is the probability of an occupational change, as ex-pected. Furthermore, we are able to identify different clusters of occupations that are char-acterized by similar skill combinations within a given cluster and different skill combina-tions between clusters. We find that employees in very specific occupations have a com-paratively higher probability of changing their occupation within than between skill clus-ters. Moreover, occupational mobility within a skill cluster is accompanied by wage gains, while mobility between skill clusters results in wage losses. Not surprisingly, the more specific the former occupation is, either the higher is the resulting wage loss or the smaller is the resulting wage gain depending on whether the move is between or within skill clus-ters, respectively. Therefore, the acquired skill combination rather than the occupation per se crucially determines the mobility of an employee.
    Keywords: Skill-weights approach, mobility, skill clusters, apprenticeship training
    JEL: J62 M53
    Date: 2009–09
  6. By: Roberta Capello (Politecnico di Milano, Italy); Andrea Caragliu (Politecnico di Milano, Italy, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands); Peter Nijkamp (VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: Knowledge drives the growth of nations and regions in a competitive space-economy. Hence, we would expect a strong correlation between investments in R&D, knowledge and learning processes, on the one hand, and productivity increases, on the other. However, the empirical evidence shows consistent discrepancies between knowledge inputs and economic performance across geographical units. This paper addresses this intriguing issue at the regional level, by highlighting both theoretically and empirically the strategic importance played by cognitive elements as part of “territorial capital” in mediating between knowledge production and regional growth. The main proposition of the paper, subject to empirical testing, is that cognitive elements as part of territorial capital magnify the contribution of knowledge by determining the formation of increasing returns to knowledge exploitation.
    Keywords: territorial; capital; regional growth; cognitive; knowledge; rivalry; R&D
    JEL: R11 R15 R58
    Date: 2009–07–28
  7. By: Jellal, Mohamed
    Abstract: We integrate a social norm which associates status to accumulation of capital and consumption into a simple model of endogenous growth. We show that societies which place a greater weight of cultural values on stock of accumulated capital as opposed to consumption will experience fast growth. Our results are consistent with those obtained by Baumol (1990) in the context of entrepreneurship and by Fershtman and Weiss (1991).
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship;Culture Values;Social Status;Growth
    JEL: O1 A13 Z13
    Date: 2009–09–03
  8. By: Christian Belzil (Department of Economics, Ecole Polytechnique - CNRS : UMR7176 - Polytechnique - X, ENSAE - École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration Économique - ENSAE); Marco Leonardi (Università degli studi di Milano - Università di Milano - Università degli studi di Milano)
    Abstract: Using unique Italian panel data in which individual differences in attitudes toward risk are measurable (from a lottery pricing question), we investigate the effect of the individual specific time invariant risk aversion factor on the probability of entering higher education. Apart from the risk aversion factor, absolute risk aversion depends on various state variables (wealth, liquidity constraints, back- ground risk) and is assumed to be measured with nonclassical error. We also take into account the endogeneity of the response to the risk aversion question, as well as potential non-classical measurement error in wealth. All model specifications point out to the fact that individual specific risk aversion acts as a deterrent to higher education investment.
    Keywords: Risk Aversion, Ex-ante risk, schooling, subjective beliefs, dynamic discrete choices
    Date: 2009–08–26
  9. By: Eytan Sheshinski
    Abstract: It has been argued that increased life expectancy raises the rate of return on education, causing a rise in the investment in education followed by an increase in lifetime labor supply. Empirical evidence of these relations is rather weak. Building on a lifecycle model with uncertain longevity, this paper shows that increased life expectancy does not suffice to warrant the above hypotheses. We provide assumptions about the change in survival probabilities, specifically about the age dependence of hazard rates, which determine individuals' behavioral response w.r.t. education, work and age of retirement. Comparison is made between the case when individuals have access to a competitive annuity market and the case of no insurance.
    Date: 2009–09

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