nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2010‒08‒06
eleven papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini
Euricse and University of Trento

  1. Leveraging Training: Skills Development in SMEs By OECD
  2. Human Capital Investments in Children: A Comparative Analysis of the Role of Parent-Child Shared Time in Selected Countries By Österbacka, Eva; Merz, Joachim; Zick, Cathleen D.
  3. La Distinction reloaded: Returns to Education, Family Background, Cultural and Social Capital in Germany By Astrid Krenz
  4. Labor-Market Attachment and Training Participation By Ikenaga, Toshie; Kawaguchi, Daiji
  5. On weighting the components of the Human Development Index: A statistical justification By Georges Nguefack-Tsague; Stephan Klasen; Walter Zucchini
  6. Do Non-Cognitive Skills Help Explain the Occupational Segregation of Young People? By Antecol, Heather; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.
  7. Is tolerance good or bad for growth? By Berggren, Niclas; Elinder, Mikael
  8. Initial Teacher Education and Continuing Training Policies in a Comparative Perspective: Current Practices in OECD Countries and a Literature Review on Potential Effects By Pauline Musset
  9. "A Comparison of the Organization of Higher Education Systems in France and the USA" By Alain Alcouffe; Jeffrey B. Miller
  10. Building up Undergraduate Skills – empirical evidence from a Portuguese University By Eva Oliveira; Miguel Sottomayor; A. Meireles; A. Martins; M. Rocha
  11. Does the Rotten Child Spoil His Companion? Spatial Peer Effects Among Children in Rural India By Christian Helmers; Manasa Patnam

  1. By: OECD
    Abstract: Access to training and the effective utilisation of skills in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) has long been an area of interest to public policy makers and economic development practitioners. SMEs often lack capabilities and infrastructure to make the most of their human capabilities – and as a consequence tend to have lower levels of training and skills development. It is against this back drop that the Department of Labour initiated this study with the OECD in conjunction with the Ministry of Economic Development, Tertiary Education Commission, Industry Training Federation and Business New Zealand. These organisations have a strong desire to see the results of the study feed into responses to help lift the performance of SMEs.
    Date: 2010–08
  2. By: Österbacka, Eva (Abo Akademi University); Merz, Joachim (Leuphana University Lüneburg); Zick, Cathleen D. (University of Utah)
    Abstract: Parents invest in their children's human capital in several ways. We investigate the extent to which the levels and composition of parent-child time varies across countries with different welfare regimes: Finland, Germany and the United States. We test the hypothesis of parent-child time as a form of human capital investment in children using a propensity score treatment effects approach that accounts for the possible endogenous nature of time use and human capital investment. Result: There is considerable evidence of welfare regime effects on parent-child shared time. Our results provide mixed support for the hypothesis that non-care related parent-child time is human capital enriching. The strongest support is found in the case of leisure time and eating time.
    Keywords: parent-child time, comparative research, welfare regimes, Finland, Germany, USA, treatment effects, propensity score matching
    JEL: D1 J24 J22 H43
    Date: 2010–07
  3. By: Astrid Krenz
    Abstract: The German educational system finds itself being criticized by the OECD in its Programme for International Student Assessment. Family background would heavily influence children’s academic achievements. A child stemming from a high class family has a 3.1 times higher chance to go to secondary school than a child from a working class family, controlling for ability. The chance for taking up university studies is even 7.4 times higher for children from high class families. In search of an explanation for this misery Pierre Bourdieu’s and James Coleman’s theories about cultural and social capital prove to be valuable. Based on their work this study will investigate returns to education and its interdependence with family background in Germany. Bourdieu basically explains that family background leads to acquire specific levels of manners, attitudes, self assurance etc. which in turn might influence job status, income e.g. A huge body of literature measuring returns to education all over the world already exists, however, studies for Germany, and in particular studies that focuss on the relation between income, education and social background, are rare. This study appears to be the first one following an interdisciplinary approach, incorporating measures of cultural and social capital along with family background and further variables into a common Mincer wage equation. Taking data from the German SOEP for the years 2001 and 2005 indices measuring cultural and social capital are constructed applying principal component analysis. Education, ability, motivation, cultural and social capital are endogenized and adequate regression techniques are applied. It can be shown that social background determines an individual’s amount of education which in turn will influence income. An individual’s amount of education does significantly depend on parents’ education, the father being a low-skilled laborer, the amount of cultural and social capital, ability and motivation. Males do get more education than women. Educational policy in Germany should concentrate on enhancing access to education for children from low class families on the one hand, on the other hand the German society should be sensitized to special needs of individuals stemming from low class families as well as to problems that these humans do face.
    Keywords: Returns to Education, Cultural Capital, Social Capital, Inequality, Index
    JEL: I21 J24 J31 Z13
    Date: 2010–07–15
  4. By: Ikenaga, Toshie (Hitotsubashi University); Kawaguchi, Daiji (Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: This paper examines how expected attachment to the labor market and expected tenure at a specific firm affect training participation. The results, based on cross-sectional data from Japan, indicate that expected attachment to the labor market affects participation in both employer- and worker-initiated training, while expected tenure at a specific firm mainly explains participation in employer-initiated training. These two attachment indices explain almost half of the gender gap in training participation. Employers in a less competitive labor market are more likely to offer employer-initiated training to their workers.
    Keywords: training, labor market attachment, job tenure, gender, Japan
    JEL: J16 J24 J61 J63
    Date: 2010–07
  5. By: Georges Nguefack-Tsague (University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon); Stephan Klasen (Georg-August-University Göttingen); Walter Zucchini (Georg-August-University Göttingen)
    Abstract: The Human Development Index (HDI) published in the Human Development Report (HDR) of the United Nations Development Program is calculated as a simple average of the Life Expectancy Index (LEI), the Education Index (EI) and the Gross Domestic Product Index (GDPI). This paper provides statistical support for the use of this seemingly arbitrary equal weighting of the three components by treating human development as a latent concept imperfectly captured by its three component indices. We show that a principal component analysis (PCA) based on the correlation matrix of the components leads to practically the same weights. Specifically we show that, for the period 1975 to 2005, the first principal component accounts for between 78% and 90% of the total variability in the data, and that its coefficients are positive and nearly equal. By normalizing the coefficients, the simple average weighting (1/3, 1/3, 1/3) scheme is obtained. The ranks of countries obtained using the PCA weightings are very similar to those based on the HDI. An advantage of the simple equal weighting is that one can define a simple index to measure the balance of a country\'s development, given its HDI which we show below.
    Keywords: Human Development Index; Human Development Report; United Nations Development Program; principal component analysis; correlation matrix
    JEL: I31 C43 O1
    Date: 2010–07–15
  6. By: Antecol, Heather (Claremont McKenna College); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Melbourne)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of non-cognitive skills in the occupational segregation of young workers entering the U.S. labor market. We find entry into male-dominated fields of study and male-dominated occupations are both related to the extent to which individuals believe they are intelligent and have "male" traits while entry into male-dominated occupations is also related to the willingness to work hard, impulsivity, and the tendency to avoid problems. The nature of these relationships differs for men and women, however. Non-cognitive skills (intelligence and impulsivity) also influence movement into higher-paid occupations, but in ways that are similar for men and women. On balance, non-cognitive skills provide an important, though incomplete, explanation for segregation in the fields that young men and women study as well as in the occupations in which they are employed.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills, occupation, youth, gender
    JEL: J24 J16 J31
    Date: 2010–07
  7. By: Berggren, Niclas (The Ratio Institute); Elinder, Mikael (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: We investigate to what extent tolerance, as measured by attitudes toward different types of neighbors, affects economic growth. Data from the World Values Survey enable us to investigate tolerance–growth relationships for 54 countries. We provide estimates based on cross-sectional as well as panel-data regressions. In addition we test for robustness with respect to model specification and sample composition. Unlike previous studies, by Richard Florida and others, we find that tolerance toward homosexuals is negatively related to growth. For tolerance toward people of a different race, we do not find robust results, but the sign of the estimated coefficients is positive, suggesting that inclusion of people irrespective of race makes good use of productive capacity. We propose mechanisms to explain these divergent findings, which clarify why different kinds of tolerance may be of different economic importance.
    Keywords: Tolerance; Growth; Diversity; Human Capital; Creativity; Innovation
    JEL: O40 Z13
    Date: 2010–08–02
  8. By: Pauline Musset
    Abstract: To design policies that allow to educate and train teachers, capable of helping students to acquire the competencies needed to evolve in today‘s societies and labour markets is an amazing challenge. In today‘s context, with the undergoing economic and social changes, high-quality schooling is more important than ever.
    Date: 2010–07
  9. By: Alain Alcouffe (Department of Economics, University of Toulouse); Jeffrey B. Miller (Department of Economics, University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Countries have many different ways of organizing higher education. Because of the high costs of higher education, reform efforts, of which the Bologna Process in Europe is an example, are underway in many places. Even where explicit governmental reform processes are less important, economic pressures are bringing about changes. This paper compares the higher education systems in the USA and France. They have been chosen for our study because the problems of high achievement, reasonable economic costs and accessibility are shared values, but their systems are organized very differently.
    Keywords: Organization of Higher Education Systems, Economics of Higher Education, Goals of National Systems of Higher Education, Autonomy of Universities, Enrollment in Higher Education, Higher Education in France, Higher Education in the US
    JEL: I21 I22 I23
    Date: 2010
  10. By: Eva Oliveira (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); Miguel Sottomayor (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); A. Meireles (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); A. Martins (Students and Careers Service, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto)); M. Rocha (Faculdade de Economia e Gestão, Universidade Católica Portuguesa (Porto))
    Abstract: This study presents preliminary results of the PSP Project, addressing students' soft skills development within the context of HEI. Theoretical framework is grounded in Person-Environment Fit theories (Rounds & Hesketh, 1994), and also in Evans (2001) starfish model. Study 1 aimed to identify Economics and Business graduates' Market-Valued Skills Profile, collecting data through semi-structured interviews with HR managers and former students focus groups. Study 2 assessed students' confidence level regarding skills using a self-report questionnaire (Miles & Grummon, 2006). Career development representations were also assessed (Savickas, 2002; Gonçalves, 2006). Additional data was collected through open-ended questions focusing on work and other extracurricular experiences. Results from Study 1 highlight soft skills as multidimensional construct where different interrelated skills contribute to graduates' employability. Study 2 reveals students' positive self-perception regarding those skills, although limited vocational experiences were reported.
    Keywords: Soft Skills, Career development, higher education students; employability
    Date: 2010–05
  11. By: Christian Helmers; Manasa Patnam
    Abstract: This paper identifies the effect of neighborhood peer groups on childhood skill acquisition using observational data. We incorporate spatial peer interaction, defined as a child’s nearest geographical neighbors, into a production function of child cognitive development in Andhra Pradesh, India. Our peer group construction takes the form of directed networks, whose structure allows us to identify peer effects and enables us to disentangle endogenous effects from contextual effects. We exploit variation over time to avoid confounding correlated with social effects. Our results suggest that spatial peer and neighborhood effects are strongly positively associated with a child’s cognitive skill formation. These peer effects hold even when we consider an alternative IV-based identification strategy and different variations to network size. Further, we find that the presence of peer groups helps provide insurance against the negative impact of idiosyncratic shocks to child learning.
    Keywords: Children, peer effects, cognitive skills, India
    JEL: C21 O15 R23
    Date: 2010

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.
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