nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2010‒05‒15
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. Years of Schooling, Human Capital and the Body Mass Index of European Females By Giorgio Brunello; Daniele Fabbri; Margherita Fort
  2. The Role of Human Capital in Imperfectly Informed International Financial Markets By Isaac Ehrlich; Jong Kook Shin
  3. The role of entrepreneurship education and regional context in forming entrepreneurial intentions By Dirk Dohse; Sascha G. Walter
  4. Does university choice drive graduates’ employability? By Ciriaci, Daria; Muscio, Alessandro
  5. Return migrants: The rise of new entrepreneurs in rural China By Sylvie Démurger; Hui Xu
  6. Competition and Educational Quality: Evidence from The Netherlands By Elbert Dijkgraaf; Raymond H.J.M. Gradus; Matthijs de Jong
  7. Returns for Entrepreneurs versus Employees: The Effect of Education and Personal Control on the Relative Performance of Entrepreneurs vis-à-vis Wage Employees By Mirjam van Praag; Arjen van Witteloostuijn; Justin van der Sluis
  8. Public Education for the Children Left Behind By Carmen CAMACHO; I-Ling SHEN
  9. Do Parents' Social Skills Influence Their Children's Sociability? By Okumura, Tsunao; Usui, Emiko

  1. By: Giorgio Brunello; Daniele Fabbri; Margherita Fort
    Abstract: We find that the protective effect of years of schooling on the BMI of European females is non negligible, but smaller than the one recently found for the US. By using individual standardized cognitive tests instead of years of schooling as the measure of education we show that the current focus in the literature on years of schooling is not misplaced. We also investigate whether the response to changes in compulsory education is heterogeneous, and find that the protective effect of schooling is stronger among overweight than among obese females.
    Keywords: obesity, human capital, Europe
    JEL: I12 I21
    Date: 2010–01
  2. By: Isaac Ehrlich (State University of New York at Buffalo ,National Bureau of Economic Research and Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research); Jong Kook Shin (State University of New York at Buffalo)
    Abstract: The paper's point of departure is that the information content of financial asset prices is formed partly through search for private information by individuals or investor groups, rather than gleaned exclusively from observed asset prices. Differences in the efficiency of search for information signals and in the opportunity costs involved lead to asymmetries in private information precision across investors and to variations in the price information content of traded assets. Our model links these variables to the level of prior knowledge, or "general human capital" investors possess concerning all traded assets, as well as idiosyncratic knowledge, or "specific human capital" associated with specific assets. In this context, the paper extends and generalizes the approach offered in Ehrlich, Hamlen and Yin (2008). Pursuing a rational-expectations-equilibrium model of noisy prices with multiple assets and heterogeneous investors, we apply this model to explain the observed diversity in the degree of concentration of financial portfolios in domestic, relative to foreign assets across countries - what the literature has termed "home bias". Our model predicts that while conditional increments in general human capital, proxied by schooling, monotonically increase the expected absolute holdings of both home and foreign stocks, "home bias" at the market level is an inverted-U function of schooling. Symmetrically opposite results are predicted concerning the impact of variations in the opportunity costs of information production, proxied by individual labor market wages. We test these predictions against aggregate market data concerning the compositions of aggregate portfolios across 23 countries over a 7-year period (2001-07). The results strongly support our discriminating hypotheses. A related, and more extensive, empirical investigation is contained in Ehrlich, Shin, and Yin (2010).
    Date: 2010–04
  3. By: Dirk Dohse (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Sascha G. Walter (Kiel University)
    Abstract: This study examines how the extent of entrepreneurship education within university departments influences students’ entrepreneurial intentions in three careers: computer science, electrical engineering, and business. Specifically, it proposes that the effect of such education is (1) contingent on its mode (active, e.g. business plan seminars, vs. reflective, e.g. theory lectures), (2) contingent on the regional context and (3) complemented by individual-level influences such as role models or work experience. Results show that active modes of entrepreneurship education directly increase intentions and attitudes, whereas the impact of reflective modes depends on the regional context. Parental role models and work experience are found to complement entrepreneurship education in different ways. The findings have important implications for theory building as well as for the practice of teaching entrepreneurship.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship education, entrepreneurial intentions, regional economy, knowledge spillover
    JEL: L26 M13 M59 R12
    Date: 2010
  4. By: Ciriaci, Daria; Muscio, Alessandro
    Abstract: Universities have come under increasing pressure to become key drivers of economic development in the age of the knowledge economy. Yet we know very little about the impact of university quality and scientific excellence on the probability of graduates finding jobs. This paper investigates the determinants of Italian graduates’ employability 1-year and 3-years after graduation, with special reference to university quality measured in terms of research performance. Our results confirm that the ‘better’ the university, the higher the likelihood that graduates will be employed. We also observe strong effects associated with field of study, and wide regional differences.
    Keywords: University quality; returns to education; labour market outcomes; employment
    JEL: I23 J24
    Date: 2010–05–05
  5. By: Sylvie Démurger (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France ; CNRS, CEFC, USR 3331 Asie Orientale, Hong Kong); Hui Xu (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69003, France; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne, UMR 5824, 93, chemin des Mouilles, Ecully, F-69130, France; ENS-LSH, Lyon, France ; Center for Modern Chinese City Studies (CCMC), East China Normal University, Shanghai, China)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes return migrants' occupational choice upon their return to their home village, by using an original rural household survey conducted in Wuwei county (Anhui province, China) in 2008. We apply two complementary approaches : a horizontal comparative analysis of occupational choice between non-migrants and return migrants, and a vertical investigation of the impact of migration experience on returnees only. Two main findings are drawn up from the estimation of probit models which account for potential selection bias and endogeneity. First, return migrants are more likely to be self-employed and to opt for higher ability jobs than non-migrants. Second, both return savings and the frequency of job changes during migration increase the likelihood for return migrants to become self-employed. These findings suggest that (a) working experience during migration enhances individual's human capital and entrepreneurial ability, and (b) repatriated migration experience is a key stimulating factor in promoting rural entrepreneur activity.
    Keywords: Return migrants, occupational change, entrepreneurship, Asia, China
    JEL: O15 J62 L26 O53
    Date: 2010
  6. By: Elbert Dijkgraaf (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Raymond H.J.M. Gradus (VU University Amsterdam, and Erasmus University Rotterdam); Matthijs de Jong (Erasmus University Rotterdam)
    Abstract: Ample evidence is available for the effect of competition on educational quality as only a few countries allow large scale competition. In the Netherlands free parental choice is present since the beginning of the 20th century, which can be characterized as a full voucher program with 100% funding. Based on panel data for the Netherlands we show that there is a relation between competition and educational outcomes in secondary education, but that it is negative and small. This effect is larger for small and medium sized schools and for schools which do not have a Protestant or Catholic denomination.
    Keywords: Competition; Private Schools; Scale; Quality; Secondary Education
    JEL: H70 I20
    Date: 2009–11–13
  7. By: Mirjam van Praag (University of Amsterdam); Arjen van Witteloostuijn (University of Antwerp, and Utrecht University); Justin van der Sluis (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: How valuable is education for entrepreneurs’ performance as compared to employees’? What might explain any differences? And does education affect peoples’ occupational choices accordingly? We answer these questions based on a large panel of US labor force participants. We show that education affects peoples’ decisions to become an entrepreneur negatively. We show furthermore that entrepreneurs have higher returns to education than employees (in terms of the comparable performance measure ‘income’). This is the case even when estimating individual fixed effects of the differential returns to education for spells in entrepreneurship versus wage employment, thereby accounting for selectivity into entrepreneurial positions based on fixed individual characteristics. We find these results irrespective of whether we control for general ability and/or whether we use instrumental variables to cope with the endogenous nature of education in income equations. Finally, we find (indirect) support for the argument that the higher returns to education for entrepreneurs is due to fewer (organizational) constraints faced by entrepreneurs when optimizing the profitable employment of their education. Entrepreneurs have more personal control over the profitable employment of their human capital than wage employees.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; self-employment; returns to education; performance; personal control; locus of control; human capital; wages; incomes
    JEL: J23 J24 J31 J44 M13
    Date: 2009–12–08
  8. By: Carmen CAMACHO (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES)); I-Ling SHEN (UniversitŽ de Genve, Department of Econometrics, Institute for the Sudy of Labor (IZA) and Institut de Recherches Žconomiques et sociales de lÕUCL)
    Abstract: This paper examines the role of public education in the context of parental migration, and it studies the effects of an expansive income tax policy that is adopted to increase public education expenditure per pupil. It is shown that such a policy may exacerbate income inequality in the long run if for the less skilled dynasties, the benefits of more public spending on education does not make up for the negative effects of increased parental absences. However, if the migration-induced tax base erosion is not severe, an expansive income tax policy indeed enhances future human capital for all dynasties, and moreover, it may help the less skilled households escape from the poverty trap, thus reducing long-run inequality.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Income Inequality; Parental Migration; Public Education Expenditure; Tax Base Erosion
    JEL: H20 H52 O15 O40
    Date: 2010–03–16
  9. By: Okumura, Tsunao; Usui, Emiko
    Abstract: Several studies find that social skills are important determinants of labor market outcomes, including occupation and wages. This paper examines the causal effect of parents' social skills on children's sociability, using the U.S. National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79). This survey, like some other national surveys, lacks detailed information on parents; to remedy this deficiency we use occupational characteristics from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT) to proxy for parental skills. By utilizing various measures of social skills, we find that parents' social skills have a positive effect on children’s sociability along gender lines.
    Keywords: Social skills, Intergenerational correlations, Occupational characteristics
    JEL: J24 J62
    Date: 2010–03

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