nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2010‒05‒22
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
University of Siena

  1. The Effect of Childhood Conduct Disorder on Human Capital By Koning, Pierre; Webbink, Dinand; Vujić, Sunčica; Martin, Nicholas G.
  2. Identifying the Barriers to Higher Education Participation By McCoy, Selina; Byrne, Delma
  3. The Economics of International Differences in Educational Achievement By Hanushek, Eric A.; Woessmann, Ludger
  4. A Long-Run View of the University Gender Gap in Australia By Booth, Alison L.; Kee, Hiau Joo
  5. Under Pressure? The Effect of Peers on Outcomes of Young Adults By Sandra E Black; Paul J Devereux; Kjell G Salvanes
  6. Economic Reform, Education Expansion, and Earnings Inequality for Urban Males in China, 1988-2007 By Meng, Xin; Shen, Kailing; Xue, Sen
  7. Migration, wages, and parental background: Obstacles to entrepreneurship and growth in East Germany By Zoë Kuehn
  8. Within-school tracking in south Korea : an analysis using Pisa 2003 By Macdonald, Kevin; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
  9. Do Brain Drain and Poverty Result from Coordination Failures? By David de la Croix; Frédéric Docquier

  1. By: Koning, Pierre (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Webbink, Dinand (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis); Vujić, Sunčica (London School of Economics); Martin, Nicholas G. (Queensland Institute of Medical Research)
    Abstract: This paper estimates the longer-term effects of childhood conduct disorder on human capital accumulation and violent and criminal behaviour later in life using data of Australian twins. We measure conduct disorder with a rich set of indicators based on diagnostic criteria from psychiatry. Using ordinary least squares (OLS) and twin fixed effects (FE) estimation approaches, we find that early (pre-18) conduct disorder problems significantly affect both human capital accumulation and violent and criminal behaviour over the life course. In addition, we find that conduct disorder is more deleterious if these behaviours occur earlier in life.
    Keywords: conduct disorder, human capital, twins
    JEL: I1 I2 K42
    Date: 2010–05
  2. By: McCoy, Selina; Byrne, Delma
    Date: 2010–04
  3. By: Hanushek, Eric A. (Stanford University); Woessmann, Ludger (Ifo Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: An emerging economic literature over the past decade has made use of international tests of educational achievement to analyze the determinants and impacts of cognitive skills. The cross-country comparative approach provides a number of unique advantages over national studies: It can exploit institutional variation that does not exist within countries; draw on much larger variation than usually available within any country; reveal whether any result is country-specific or more general; test whether effects are systematically heterogeneous in different settings; circumvent selection issues that plague within-country identification by using system-level aggregated measures; and uncover general-equilibrium effects that often elude studies in a single country. The advantages come at the price of concerns about the limited number of country observations, the cross-sectional character of most available achievement data, and possible bias from unobserved country factors like culture. This chapter reviews the economic literature on international differences in educational achievement, restricting itself to comparative analyses that are not possible within single countries and placing particular emphasis on studies trying to address key issues of empirical identification. While quantitative input measures show little impact, several measures of institutional structures and of the quality of the teaching force can account for significant portions of the large international differences in the level and equity of student achievement. Variations in skills measured by the international tests are in turn strongly related to individual labor-market outcomes and, perhaps more importantly, to cross-country variations in economic growth.
    Keywords: human capital, cognitive skills, international student achievement tests, education production function
    JEL: I20 O40 O15 H40 H52 J24 J31 P50
    Date: 2010–05
  4. By: Booth, Alison L. (University of Essex); Kee, Hiau Joo (Australian National University)
    Abstract: The first Australian universities were established in the 1850s, well before the introduction of compulsory schooling. However it was not until the twentieth century that growing industrialisation, technological change and the development of the so-called 'knowledge industries' fed into an increased demand in Australia for better-educated workers. As the twentieth century progressed, technological change and industrial restructuring saw a shift from brawn to brain. From the middle of the twentieth century, the introduction of mass secondary school education and the expansion of the number of universities widened access. At the same time, subjects offered in higher education increased in scope, and explicit and implicit labour market discrimination began to be eroded. These factors, together with a series of supply-side changes, meant that women were more easily able to shift into investing in the skills in which labour demand was increasing. By 1987, Australian women were more likely than men to be enrolled at university. These aggregate figures disguise considerable heterogeneity across fields of study.
    Keywords: higher education, gender, Australia
    JEL: I23 J1 N3
    Date: 2010–04
  5. By: Sandra E Black (UCLA); Paul J Devereux (University College Dublin); Kjell G Salvanes (Norwegian School of Economics)
    Abstract: A variety of public campaigns, including the “Just Say No” campaign of the 1980s and 1990s that encouraged teenagers to “Just Say No to Drugs”, are based on the premise that teenagers are very susceptible to peer influences. Despite this, very little is known about the effect of school peers on the long-run outcomes of teenagers. This is primarily due to two factors: the absence of information on peers merged with long-run outcomes of individuals and, equally important, the difficulty of separately identifying the role of peers. This paper uses data on the population of Norway and idiosyncratic variation in cohort composition within schools to examine the role of peer composition in 9th grade on longer-run outcomes such as IQ scores at age 18, teenage childbearing, postcompulsory schooling educational track, adult labor market status, and earnings. We find that outcomes are influenced by the proportion of females in the grade, and these effects differ for men and women. Other peer variables (average age, average mother’s education) have little impact on the outcomes of teenagers.
    Keywords: Peer Effects, Education
    Date: 2010–05–14
  6. By: Meng, Xin (Australian National University); Shen, Kailing (Xiamen University); Xue, Sen (Xiamen University)
    Abstract: In the past 20 years the average real earnings of Chinese urban male workers have increased by 350 per cent. Accompanying this unprecedented growth is a considerable increase in earnings inequality. Between 1988 and 2007 the variance of log earnings increased from 0.27 to 0.48, a 78 per cent increase. Using a unique set of repeated cross-sectional data this paper examines the causes of this increase in earnings inequality. We find that the major changes occurred in the 1990s when the labour market moved from a centrally planned system to a market oriented system. The decomposition exercise conducted in the paper identifies the factor that drives the significant increase in the earnings variance in the 1990s to be an increase in the within-education-experience cell residual variances. Such an increase may be explained mainly by the increase in the price of unobserved skills. When an economy shifts from an administratively determined wage system to a market-oriented one, rewards to both observed and unobserved skills increase. The turn of the century saw a slowing down of the reward to both the observed and unobserved skills, due largely to the college expansion program that occurred at the end of the 1990s.
    Keywords: earnings inequality, China
    JEL: J31 P2 P3
    Date: 2010–04
  7. By: Zoë Kuehn (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: For the last decade, the East German economy has been suffering from high unemployment and low economic growth. Policy makers often point to the lack of entrepreneurship as one of East Germany\'s main problems. This paper addresses the question of how East Germany\'s integration into an established economy, West Germany, may have hindered a fruitful development of entrepreneurship and how this may have affected economic growth. I build a model economy that places Lucas\'s (1978) span-of-control model into an overlapping-generations framework. Following Hassler and Rodríguez Mora (2000) managerial knowhow is defined as a combination of two factors, innate talent and entrepreneurial parental background, and growth depends on the innate talent of entrepreneurs. In East Germany, the lack of entrepreneurial parental background makes talent the decisive factor in occupational choice and more talented entrepreneurs should contribute to high growth rates. However, three key aspects of its integration into West Germany inhibit this mechanism: 1) the unrestricted mobility of East Germans to the West, 2) the policy of fixing East German wages as fractions of West German wages, and 3) the importance of parental background for entrepreneurship in West Germany. Counterfactual experiments show that eliminating any of these three aspects leads to more entrepreneurs, less unemployment, and higher economic growth in East Germany.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; allocation of talent; social mobility; transition
    JEL: F15 E24 J22
    Date: 2010–05–12
  8. By: Macdonald, Kevin; Patrinos, Harry Anthony
    Abstract: The 2003 PISA Korea sample is used to examine the association between within-school ability tracking and mathematics achievement. Estimates of a variety of econometric models reveal that tracking is positively associated with mathematics achievement among females and that this association declines for higher achieving females. Noevidence of an association between males and tracking is detected. While this association for females cannot be interpreted as a causal effect, the presence of a measurable association indicates the need for further research on tracking in Korea with a particular focus on gender differences.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,Secondary Education,Teaching and Learning,Education For All,Educational Sciences
    Date: 2010–04–01
  9. By: David de la Croix (IRES and CORE, Université catholique de Louvain); Frédéric Docquier (National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium) and IRES, Université catholique de Louvain)
    Abstract: We explore the complementarities between high-skill emigration and poverty in developing countries. We build a model endogenizing human-capital accumulation, high-skill migration and productivity. Two countries sharing the same characteristics may end up either in a “low poverty/low brain drain” path or in a “high poverty/high brain drain” path. After identifying country-specific parameters, we find that, for a majority of countries, the observed equilibrium has higher income than the other possible one. In 22 developing countries (including 20 small states with less than 2 million inhabitants), poverty and high brain drain are worsened by a coordination failure. For 25 other countries, a radical worsening of economic performances is feasible. These results are fairly robust to identification assumptions and the inclusion of a brain-gain mechanism.
    Keywords: Public Good, Inequality Aversion, Immigration policy.
    JEL: F22 D58 D6 D7
    Date: 2010–05

This nep-hrm issue is ©2010 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.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.