nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2010‒12‒04
nine papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Child Ability and Household Human Capital Investment Decisions in Burkina Faso By Akresh, Richard; Bagby, Emilie; de Walque, Damien; Kazianga, Harounan
  2. Human Capital Dispersion and Incentives to Innovate By Maurizio Iacopetta
  3. Formal Education and Public Knowledge By Maurizio Iacopetta
  4. The Dynamics of Labour Productivity across Italian Provinces: Convergence and Polarization By Davide Fiaschi; Lisa Gianmoena; Angela Parenti
  5. The Impact of Skills on Remigration Flows By Peter Bönisch; Philipp Gaffert; Joachim Wilde
  6. General equilibrium models on skill acquisition and economic development: some comments By Bobkova, Nina
  7. Labour market inclusion and labour market exclusion among youth in Sweden: What role does immigrant background play? By Månsson, Jonas; Delander, Lennart
  8. Do Parents' Social Skills Influence Their Children's Sociability? By Okumura, Tsunao; Usui, Emiko
  9. I Would if I Could: Precarious Employment and Childbearing Intentions in Italy By Francesca Modena; Fabio Sabatini

  1. By: Akresh, Richard (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Bagby, Emilie (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); de Walque, Damien (World Bank); Kazianga, Harounan (Oklahoma State University)
    Abstract: Using data we collected in rural Burkina Faso, we examine how children's cognitive abilities influence resource constrained households' decisions to invest in their education. We use a direct measure of child ability for all primary school-aged children, regardless of current school enrollment. We explicitly incorporate direct measures of the ability of each child's siblings (both absolute and relative measures) to show how sibling rivalry exerts an impact on the parent's decision of whether and how much to invest in their child’s education. We find children with one standard deviation higher own ability are 16 percent more likely to be currently enrolled, while having a higher ability sibling lowers current enrollment by 16 percent and having two higher ability siblings lowers enrollment by 30 percent. Results are robust to addressing the potential reverse causality of schooling influencing child ability measures and using alternative cognitive tests to measure ability.
    Keywords: child ability, sibling rivalry, education, household decisions, Africa
    JEL: O15 J12 I21 J13
    Date: 2010–11
  2. By: Maurizio Iacopetta (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Abstract: Do policies that alter the allocation of human capital across individuals affect the innovation capacity of an economy? To answer this question, I extend Romer's (1990) growth model to allow for individual heterogeneity. I find that the value of an invention rises with equality. If skills and talents are evenly distributed, inventions are more widely adopted in production and users are willing to bid a higher price. Therefore, more equality is associated with a larger share of the population employed in the business of invention. However, inventors of an equal society are not as creative as those of an unequal one. As a result an inverted-U curve relating inequality and the innovation rate emerges, indicating that departures from extreme forms of equality or inequality are growth-enhancing. I discuss evidence that agrees with the main implications of the analysis, namely that the market size and the number of inventors are negatively affected by inequality. Finally, a calibration exercise suggests that in recent decades the U.S. has been in the ascending portion of the inequality-growth curve.
    Keywords: human capital, inequality, innovation JEL Classification: O15; O31; O41; H52; J24.
    Date: 2010–11
  3. By: Maurizio Iacopetta (Observatoire Français des Conjonctures Économiques)
    Abstract: In this paper, I examine the transitional dynamics of an economy populated by individuals who split their time between acquiring a formal education, producing final goods, and innovating. The paper has two objectives: (i) uncovering the macroeconomic circumstances that favored the rise of formal education; (ii) to reconcile the remarkable growth of the education sector with the constancy of other key macroeconomic variables, such as the interest rate, the consumption-output ratio, and the growth rate of per capita income (Kaldor facts). The transitional dynamics of human capital growth models, such as Lucas (1988), would attribute the arrival of education to the diminishing marginal productivity of physical capital. Conversely, the model proposed here suggests that it is the rate of learning that catches up with the rate of return on physical capital. As technical knowledge expands, the rate of return on education increases, and this induces individuals to stay longer in school. The model's transitional paths are matched with long run U.S. educational and economic data.
    Keywords: Public Knowledge, Learning Rate, Transitional Dynamics, Calibration. JEL codes: J24, N30, O33.
    Date: 2010–11
  4. By: Davide Fiaschi; Lisa Gianmoena; Angela Parenti
    Abstract: This paper analyses the dynamics of labour productivity across Italian Provinces in the period 1995-2006. Inequality decreased but a clear pattern of polarization emerged, with the formation of a cluster of high-productive provinces in the North and Center-West of Italy and a cluster of low-productive provinces in the South and in the Center-East. A core of provinces belonging to ?ve regions (Lombardy, Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany and Lazio) appears to bene?t of a higher growth of productivity. This regional component favoured both inequality and polarization, while the initial level of productivity decreased inequality but increased polarization.
    Keywords: distribution dynamics, spatial dependence, output composition, entrepreneurial fabric, human capital.
    JEL: C21 R11 O47 O52
    Date: 2010–10–10
  5. By: Peter Bönisch; Philipp Gaffert; Joachim Wilde (University of Osnabrueck)
    Abstract: More than ten years after the seminal paper by Borjas and Bratsberg (1996) modeling the impact of skills on remigration the empirical evidence on that theory is still mixed. Our paper is to shed light on that issue. Using the GSOEP we test two hypotheses derived from Borjas and Bratsberg (1996) while allowing for endogeneity of host country specific capital. Our results give strong support for their theory. Additionally a sensitivity analysis shows that the insignificance of education in previous studies is due to the test design conducted and cannot be interpreted as falsification of Borjas’ and Bratsberg’s (1996) theory.
    Keywords: return migration, selective return migration
    JEL: J24 F22
    Date: 2010–03–15
  6. By: Bobkova, Nina
    Abstract: Deme et al. (2005, DFN) present a general equilibrium model for the case of Lesotho with a rising step skill acquisition function. DFN show that only a large amount of government expenditure on education, training and skill acquisition can pull the economy out of its inertia. As a comment on DFN, Bandopadhyay (2006) develops a similar general equilibrium model and analyzes the impact of government expenditure on skill acquisition. He finds that the outcome on the economy is independent of the amount of the government spending. By comparing the two models I show, that Bandopadhyay's findings replicate one aspect of the findings of DFN and do not add additional insight to the discussion.
    Keywords: skill acquisition; economic development; general equilibrium; human capital
    JEL: O1 J24 I28 H52
    Date: 2010–11–22
  7. By: Månsson, Jonas (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO)); Delander, Lennart (Centre for Labour Market Policy Research (CAFO))
    Abstract: The aim of this article is to analyse the impact of human capital variables on the probability for young people of being included in and excluded from the labour market. Of special interest is to study the causal effects of having immigrant background, controlling for other individual characteristics such as age, sex, education, being breadwinner, parental income, and parental employment. The research questions are investigated by using data from Statistics Sweden on young people’s sources and levels of income. The population consists of 18–24 year olds in the county of Kronoberg in southern Sweden. The period covered by the study is 1997–2007. We estimate the impact of individual characteristics by means of both panel data analysis and cross-section analysis. We find that there is a strong association between not having completed compulsory school and being excluded from the labour market. When control-ling for other human capital variables we can not, however, argue that being immigrant or having immigrant parents considerably increases the probability of labour market exclusion. On the other hand, our results clearly testify that having foreign-born parents reduces the probability of being included in the labour market. It can be assumed that this is a consequence of young people with immigrant parents being disadvantaged compared to native youth as regards access to a social network that can be benefited from in the job search proc-ess. Thus, immigrant background chiefly is an obstacle to being included in the Swedish labour market and of less importance for the risk of labour market exclusion. In the respects mentioned here, the results of the panel data analysis corresponds qualitatively with those of the cross-section analysis.
    Keywords: Human capital; Immigration; Labour market inclusion;
    JEL: E24
    Date: 2010–11–21
  8. By: Okumura, Tsunao (Yokohama National University); Usui, Emiko (Nagoya University)
    Abstract: This paper examines the 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 construct a measure of parents' "sociability" skills based on their occupational characteristics from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (DOT). The sociability relationship varies across parents and children by gender, but remains statistically significant (especially between fathers and sons), even after controlling for a variety of other background characteristics.
    Keywords: sociability, intergenerational correlations, occupational characteristics
    JEL: J24 J62
    Date: 2010–11
  9. By: Francesca Modena; Fabio Sabatini
    Abstract: This paper carries out an investigation into the socio-economic determinants of childbearing decisions made by couples in Italy. The analysis accounts for the characteristics of both possible parents. Our results do not support established theoretical predictions according to which the increase in the opportunity cost of motherhood connected to higher female labour participation is responsible for the fall in fertility. On the contrary, the instability of women’s work status (i.e. having occasional, precarious, and low-paid positions) is revealed as a significant dissuasive factor in the decision to have children. Couples in which there is an unemployed woman are less likely to plan childbearing as well. Other relevant explanatory variables are women’s age, men’s work status and education, women’s citizenship, marital status and perceived economic wellbeing.
    Keywords: Fertility, family planning, parenthood, childbearing, participation, job instability, precarious employment, Italy.
    JEL: C25 J13
    Date: 2010

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