nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2010‒12‒11
ten papers chosen by
Fabio Sabatini

  1. Local human capital, segregation by skill, and skill-specific employment growth By Schlitte, Friso
  2. The varieties of regional change By Edward L. Glaeser; Giacomo Ponzetto; Kristina Tobio
  3. A Contribution to the Empirics of Welfare Growth By Konstantinos Vrachimis; Marios Zachariadis
  4. Are Imports from Rich Nations Deskilling Emerging Economies? - Human Capital and the Dynamic Effects of Trade By Auer, Raphael
  5. Labor Market Institutions, Firm-specific Skills, and Trade Patterns By Heiwai Tang
  6. Does Labor Diversity Affect Firm Productivity? By Parrotta, Pierpaolo; Pozzoli, Dario; Pytlikova, Mariola
  7. Gender Inequality and Job quality in Europe By Peter Muehlau;
  8. The Mommy Track Divides: The Impact of Childbearing on Wages of Women of Differing Skill Levels By Elizabeth Ty Wilde; Lily Batchelder; David T. Ellwood
  9. ICT Skills and Employment: A Randomized Experiment By Blanco, Mariana; López Bóo, Florencia
  10. Thirlwall ou Solow? Uma análise para a economia brasileira entre 1947 e 2008 By Luciano Nakabashi

  1. By: Schlitte, Friso (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Labour markets in most highly developed countries are marked by rising levels of skill segregation in the production process and increasing inequalities in skill-specific employment prospects. Local human capital has a likely effect on skill specific productivity levels and employment growth. Furthermore, theoretical studies suggest that skill segregation might matter for the polarisation of wages and employment. There are several studies investigating the influence of the local human capital endowment on qualification-specific wages levels. However, analyses on regional employment growth by different skill levels are still scarce and empirical evidence on the effects of skill segregation on qualification-specific employment is completely lacking. This paper investigates the effects of the local skill composition and skill segregation in the production process on qualification-specific employment growth in West German regions. This study provides first evidence for negative effects of skill segregation on low-skilled employment growth. Furthermore, the results show that a large share of local high-skilled employment does not foster further regional concentration of human capital but positively affects the employment prospects of less skilled workers." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    Keywords: Humankapital, lokale Ökonomie, Beschäftigungsentwicklung, Lohnhöhe, Qualifikationsniveau, Niedrigqualifizierte, Hochqualifizierte, Kompetenz, Segregation, regionaler Arbeitsmarkt, Westdeutschland, Bundesrepublik Deutschland
    JEL: R11 J21 J24
    Date: 2010–11–29
  2. By: Edward L. Glaeser; Giacomo Ponzetto; Kristina Tobio
    Abstract: Many metropolitan areas have experienced extreme boom-bust cycles over the past century. Some places, like Detroit, grew enormously as industrial powerhouses and then declined, while other older cities, like Boston, seem quite resilient. Education does a reasonable job of explaining urban resilience. In this paper, we present a simple model where education increases the level of entrepreneurship. In this model, human capital spillovers occur at the city level because skilled workers produce more product varieties and thereby increase labor demand. We decompose empirically the causes of the connection between skills and urban success and find that skills are associated with growth in productivity or entrepreneurship, not with growth in quality of life, at least outside of the West. We also find that skills seem to have depressed housing supply growth in the West, but not in other regions, which supports the view that educated residents in that region have fought for tougher land-use controls. We also present evidence that skills have had a disproportionately large impact on unemployment during the current recession.
    Date: 2010–06
  3. By: Konstantinos Vrachimis; Marios Zachariadis
    Abstract: This paper compares the determinants of economic growth and welfare growth. Our main result is that determinants may differ or have different impact on welfare outcomes as compared to economic outcomes. Human capital plays a bigger role in determining the former, so that policies targeting human capital can have a greater effect on the welfare of societies than one would think by looking at their impact on economic growth alone. Institutions also have a greater effect on welfare growth compared to their impact on economic growth, consistent with the importance of government stability for the uninterrupted provision of health-related inputs and information. Finally, initial income has a greater impact on welfare growth than on real income per capita growth, implying even faster convergence than in Becker, Philipson, and Soares (2005) after adding a number of economic, health-related, institutions-related, and geographic variables. We conclude that there exist systematic differences for the impact of a number of factors on economic relative to welfare outcomes.
    Keywords: Economic growth, Welfare, Full income
    Date: 2010–01
  4. By: Auer, Raphael (Swiss National Bank)
    Abstract: This paper starts by documenting that during the last decades, the human capital embodied in imports from skill abundant nations has noticeably reduced skill accumulation in the less developed world. To identify the causal relation between these variables, the analysis utilizes over-time variation in the supply of skilled labor and the extent to which this variation affects the skill content of trade given the bilateral distance between im- and exporter. In a panel estimation covering 41 non-OCED members, a one standard deviation higher geographic pressure to import human capital is associated with a 12% reduction in the national average length of schooling. The paper next develops a model to analyze the income and welfare consequences of such trade-induced human capital disaccumulation. The model is based on heterogeneous workers who make educational decisions in the presence of complete markets. When heterogeneous workers invest in schooling, high type agents earn a surplus from their investment. Trade shifts this surplus to rich countries that can use skills more efficiently. Consequently, the dynamic effects of liberalization tend to occur to initially rich countries, thus leading to divergence.
    Keywords: Factor Content of Trade; Employment; Human Capital; Economic Growth
    JEL: F11 F14 F16
    Date: 2010–10–13
  5. By: Heiwai Tang (Tufts University and Centro Studi Luca d’Agliano)
    Abstract: This paper studies how cross-country differences in labor market institutions shape the pattern of international trade, focusing on workers’ skill acquisition. I develop a model in which workers un-dertake non-contractible activities to acquire firm-specific skills on the job. In the model, workers have more incentive to acquire firm-specific skills relative to general skills in a more protective labor market. When sectors are different in the dependence on these two types of skills, workers’ skill acquisition turns labor laws into a source of comparative advantage. By embedding the model in an open-economy framework with heterogeneous firms, sectors with different levels of dependence on firm-specific skills, and countries with varying degrees of labor protection, I show that countries with more protective labor laws export relatively more in firm-specific skill-intensive sectors through both the intensive and extensive margins of trade. I then estimate returns to firm tenure for different U.S. manufacturing sectors over the period of 1974-1993, and use the estimates as sector proxies for firm-specific skill intensity to test the theoretical predictions. By implementing the Helpman-Melitz-Rubinstein (2008) framework to estimate sector-level gravity equations for 84 countries in 1995, I find supporting evidence for the predicted effects of labor market institutions on both margins of trade.
    Keywords: Labor market institutions, heterogeneous …rms, margins of trade, trade patterns, firm-specific skills
    JEL: F10 F12 F14 F16 L22 J24
    Date: 2010–11–30
  6. By: Parrotta, Pierpaolo (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business); Pozzoli, Dario (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business); Pytlikova, Mariola (Department of Economics, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Using an employer-employee dataset, we analyze how diversity in cultural background, skills and demographic characteristics affects total factor productivity (TFP) of firms in Denmark. Implementing structural estimation of firms’ production function, we find evidence that labor diversity in skills/education significantly enhances firm performance as measured by firm TFP. Conversely, diversity in demographics and ethnicity brings mixed results – both dimensions of workforce diversity have either no or negative effects on firm TFP. Hence, it seems as if the negative effects, coming from communication and integration costs connected to a more demographically and culturally diverse workforce, counteract the positive effects of diversity on firm TFP, coming from creativity and knowledge spillovers. However, we find that ethnic diversity is valuable for firms operating in industries characterized by above-average trade openness, giving support to the hypothesis that an ethnically diverse workforce provides information and access to global markets.
    Keywords: Labor diversity; skill complementarities; communication barriers; total factor productivity
    JEL: C23 J24 L20
    Date: 2010–12–01
  7. By: Peter Muehlau (Department of Sociology, Trinity College Dublin and Institute for International Integration Studies, Trinity College Dublin);
    Abstract: In this paper, I examine whether and to which degree quality of work and employment differ between men and women and how these gender differences are shaped by societal beliefs about ‘gender equality.’ Using data from the 2004 wave of the European Social Survey, I compare the jobs of men and women across a variety of measures of perceived job quality in 26 countries. Key findings are that job quality is gendered: Jobs of men are typically characterized by high training requirements, good promotion opportunities and high levels of job complexity, autonomy and participation. Jobs for women, in contrast, are less likely to pose a health or safety risk or to involve work during antisocial hours. However, contrary to expectation, the job profiles of men and women are not more similar in societies with gender egalitarian norms. While women are relatively more likely to be exposed to health and safety risks, work pressure and demands to work outside regular working time, in more gender-egalitarian societies their work is not, relative to men’s, more skilled, complex or autonomous. Neither do more egalitarian societies provide more opportunities for participation and advancement for women than less egalitarian societies.
    JEL: N A
  8. By: Elizabeth Ty Wilde; Lily Batchelder; David T. Ellwood
    Abstract: This paper explores how the wage and career consequences of motherhood differ by skill and timing. Past work has often found smaller or even negligible effects from childbearing for high-skill women, but we find the opposite. Wage trajectories diverge sharply for high scoring women after, but not before, they have children, while there is little change for low-skill women. It appears that the lifetime costs of childbearing, especially early childbearing, are particularly high for skilled women. These differential costs of childbearing may account for the far greater tendency of high-skill women to delay or avoid childbearing altogether.
    JEL: J01 J11 J13 J16
    Date: 2010–12
  9. By: Blanco, Mariana (Universidad del Rosario); López Bóo, Florencia (Inter-American Development Bank)
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to evaluate the impact that the acquisition of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) skills has on the labor market of two Latin-American cities: Buenos Aires and Bogota. Using cross-sectional data from an experiment that randomly assigned the ICT skills line in the resume, we assess the returns to ICT skills. For that, we submit approximately 11,000 fictitious Curricula Vitae (CVs) for real job vacancies published daily in the main job search engines in both cities. We estimate a binary choice model to identify differences in callbacks depending on ICT skills. We also analyze how gender, place of residence and occupational categories interact with ICT skills. Our econometric analysis supports previous literature suggesting that ICT skills could increase the probabilities of inclusion in the labor market, mainly for those at some level of disadvantage. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that quantifies the effect of ICT skills on employment. Our findings suggest that having ICT skills in the resume can increase the probability of receiving a callback by around 1 percent or more. This effect is much stronger in Bogota than in Buenos Aires, which suggests that ICT could be acting differently depending on the characteristics of the labor market.
    Keywords: Information and Communication Technologies, hiring decisions, labor demand
    JEL: J23 J24
    Date: 2010–11
  10. By: Luciano Nakabashi (Department of Economics, Universidade Federal do Paraná)
    Abstract: Some evidences and theories point to the existence of a relationship between economic growth and current account balance. According to this approach, the external sector performance is a key element for an economy to reach sustainable rates of investment and economic growth. On the other hand, there is in the economic growth literature some emphasis in the association between economic performance and production factors accumulation. Taking into consideration these two theoretical approaches, the present study aims to develop a model relating these two different approaches and to investigate the balance of payments constraint impactson physical and human capitals investments and, consequently, on the Brazilian economy performance, between 1947 and 2008.
    Keywords: exports; physical capital; human capital; exchange rate; economic performance.
    JEL: C20 O11 O14 O23 O54
    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.
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.