nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2011‒01‒30
fifteen papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universita' di Bologna

  1. Labour Market Outcomes and Skill Acquisition in the Host Country: North African Migrants Returning Home from the European Union By Mahuteau, Stéphane; Tani, Massimiliano
  2. Fertility Choices, Human Capital Accumulation, and Endogenous Volatility By Dimitrios Varvarigos
  3. The value of an educated population for an individual's entrepreneurship success By André van Stel; Mirjam van Praag; José Maria Millan; Emilio Congregado; Concepcion Roman
  4. The use of intellectual property rights by French firms. By Gallié, Emilie-Pauline; Legros, Diego
  5. Determinants of job satisfaction across the EU-15: A comparison of self-employed and paid employees By Roy Thurik; Jolanda Hessels; José Maria Millan; Rafael Aguado
  6. High-Skilled Immigration Policy in Europe By Kahanec, Martin; Zimmermann, Klaus F.
  7. Modeling Routines and Organizational Learning. A Discussion of the State-of-the-Art By Giovanni Dosi; Marco Faillo; Luigi Marengo; Daniele Moschella
  8. Don’t spread yourself too thin. The impact of task juggling on workers’ speed of job completion By Decio Coviello; Andrea Ichino; Nicola Persico
  9. Immigration Policy and Less-Skilled Workers in the United States: Reflections on Future Directions for Reform By Holzer, Harry J.
  10. Are Employees Better Off in Socially Responsible Firms? By Tamm, Katrin; Eamets, Raul; Mõtsmees, Pille
  11. Chronically dissatisfied: work characteristics, personal expectations and job satisfaction: empirical evidence in young italian workers By Ferrari, Filippo
  12. Employed but Still Unhappy?: On the Relevance of the Social Work Norm By Adrian Chadi
  13. Designing the Optimal Length of Working Time By ALTAVILLA, Carlo; GAROFALO, Antonio; VINCI, Concetto Paolo
  14. Access to Flexible Working and Informal Care By Bryan M
  15. Social Preferences in Wage Bargaining: a Neocorporatist Approach By AUTIERO, Giuseppina; BRUNO, Bruna

  1. By: Mahuteau, Stéphane (Macquarie University, Sydney); Tani, Massimiliano (Macquarie University, Sydney)
    Abstract: This paper studies the educational investment decisions of returning migrants while abroad in the context of their decisions about the choice of activity upon returning and the duration of migration. The theoretical model builds on Dustmann (1999), Dustmann and Kirchkamp (1992) and Mesnard (2004). Using data from the MIREM database we explore whether the type of skills acquired by migrants while abroad is related to the activity chosen upon return and the duration of migration. The results suggest that the type of education plays a significant role in the migration decisions of those returning as wage earners or self-employed. In particular, there is a clear positive relationship between being self-employed and having previously invested in vocational education in the host country. There is also a strong positive relationship between investing in university education abroad and becoming a wage earner. As international migration facilitates skill transfers between developed and developing countries, the economic development of the latter will increasingly depend on migrants' ability to access educational and vocational training in the developed world aside from university education. Returning migrants with vocational and professional training tend to be self-employed after returning home, and by so doing they contribute to reducing poverty in the host country.
    Keywords: return migration, human capital, education, duration of migration
    JEL: F2 J6
    Date: 2011–01
  2. By: Dimitrios Varvarigos
    Abstract: In a three-period overlapping generations model, I show that different combinations of preference and technological parameters can lead to different patterns on the joint evolution of human capital and (endogenous) fertility choices. These patterns may include threshold effects and multiple equilibria as well as endogenous fluctuations. In the latter case, fertility is procyclical. Contrary to existing analyses, endogenous economic fluctuations emerge only when the substitution effects (rather than the income effects) dominate. I also show that the elasticity of intertemporal substitution may be an additional factor determining whether the economy can sustain a positive growth rate in the long-run.
    Keywords: Fertility; Human capital; Cycles
    JEL: J13 O41
    Date: 2010–11
  3. By: André van Stel; Mirjam van Praag; José Maria Millan; Emilio Congregado; Concepcion Roman
    Abstract: Human capital obtained through education has been shown to be one of the strongest drivers of entrepreneurship performance. The entrepreneur's human capital is, though, only one of the input factors into the production process of her venture. The value of other input factors, such as (knowledge) capital and labor is likely to be affected by the education level of the possible stakeholders in the entrepreneur's venture. The education distribution of the (local) population may thus shape the supply function of the entrepreneur. Likewise, the demand function faced by the entrepreneur is also likely to be shaped by the taste, sophistication and thus the education level of the population in their role as consumers. In other words, a population with a higher education level may be associated with (i) a working population of higher quality; (ii) more and/or higher quality universities with a positive effect on research and development (R&D) and knowledge spillovers leading to more high tech and innovative ventures; and finally, (iii) a more sophisticated consumer market. Based on this, we formulate the following proposition: The performance of an entrepreneur is not only affected positively by her own education level but in addition, also by the education level of the population. We test this proposition using an eight years (1994-2001) panel of labor market participants in the EU-15 countries from which we select individuals who have been observed as entrepreneurs. We find strong support for a positive relationship between enrolment rates in tertiary education in country j and year t and several measures of the performance of individual entrepreneurs in that same country and year, including survival and the probability that an entrepreneur starts employing personnel and maintains as an employer for a longer period of time. An implication of our novel finding is that entrepreneurship and higher education policies should be considered in tandem with each other.  
    Date: 2011–01–18
  4. By: Gallié, Emilie-Pauline; Legros, Diego
    Abstract: In attempting to appropriate their innovations, firms can choose from a range of mechanisms, including patents, trade secrets and lead-times. Yet, little is known about how firms choose different appropriability mechanisms. The aim of this paper is to determine how the use of intellectual property rights(IPs)by French firms is related to their characteristics, activities, competitive strategies and the industry sector in which they operate. Among their characteristics, we test the role of the human resource strategies in keeping employees. Our empirical model is based on the French 2004 Community Innovation Survey(CIS). Our results show that firms have different strategies in the choice of the means of protection according to their basic economic characteristics of firms, their activities and industry environment. They also put in evidence of the role of human resources strategies. Firms that finance R&D training prefer to use non-statutory means.
    Keywords: Appropriability; Intellectual property rights; Innovation; Human resources strategies; Multivariate probit;
    JEL: C35 O32 O34
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Roy Thurik; Jolanda Hessels; José Maria Millan; Rafael Aguado
    Abstract: Job satisfaction of self-employed and paid-employed workers is analyzed using the European Community Household Panel for the EU-15 covering the years 1994-2001. We distinguish between two types of job satisfaction, i.e. job satisfaction in terms of type of work and job satisfaction in terms of job security. Findings from our generalized ordered logit regressions indicate that self-employed individuals as compared to paid employees are more likely to be satisfied with their present jobs in terms of type of work and less likely to be satisfied in terms of job security. The findings also provide many insights into the determinants of the two types of job satisfaction for both the self-employed and paid employees.
    Date: 2011–01–20
  6. By: Kahanec, Martin (Central European University and IZA); Zimmermann, Klaus F. (IZA, DIW Berlin and Bonn University)
    Abstract: Whether Europe will be able to stand up to its internal and external challenges crucially depends on its ability to manage its internal mobility and inflows of international migrants. Using a unique expert opinion survey, we document that Europe needs skilled migrants, and skill mismatch is to be expected. A review of current immigration policies shows that despite a number of positive recent developments Europe lacks a consistent strategy to address this challenge effectively, paralyzed by the notion of "fortress" Europe, which we argue should be abandoned. Since significant political tensions can be expected between native actors that favor and disfavor further immigration, improving European immigration policies and procedures is a formidable challenge. This task involves the need to improve Europe's image among potential migrants, especially the high-skilled ones.
    Keywords: European Union, Europe, mobility, high-skilled migration, immigration policy
    JEL: F22 J61
    Date: 2010–12
  7. By: Giovanni Dosi; Marco Faillo; Luigi Marengo; Daniele Moschella
    Abstract: This paper presents a critical overview of some recent attempts at building formal models of organizations as information-processing and problem-solving entities. We distinguish between two classes of models according to two distinct objects of analysis. The first class includes models mainly addressing information processing and learning; the second class includes models focusing upon the relationship between the division of cognitive labor and search process in some problem-solving space. The results begin to highlight important comparative properties regarding the impact on problem-solving efficiency and learning of different forms of hierarchical governance, the dangers of lock-in associated with specific forms of adaptive learning, the relative role of "online" vs. "offline" learning, the impact of the "cognitive maps" which organizations embody, the possible trade-offs between accuracy and speed of convergence associated with different "decomposition schemes", the (ambiguous) role of organizational memory in changing environments. We argue that these are important formal tools towards the development of a comparative institutional analysis focusing on the distinct properties of different forms of organization and accumulation of knowledge
    Keywords: Information processing, Problem-solving, Organizational structure
    JEL: D23 D83 L22
    Date: 2010–01–24
  8. By: Decio Coviello (:Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Andrea Ichino (University of Bologna); Nicola Persico (Newyork University)
    Abstract: We show that task juggling, i.e., the spreading of effort across too many active projects, decreases the performance of workers, raising the chances of low throughput, long duration of projects and exploding backlogs. Individual speed of job completion cannot be explained only in terms of effort, ability and experience: work scheduling is a crucial “input” that cannot be omitted from the production function of individual workers. We provide a simple theoretical model to study the effects of increased task juggling on the duration of projects. Using a sample of Italian judges we show that those who are induced for exogenous reasons to work in a more parallel fashion on many trials at the same time, take longer to complete similar portfolios of cases. The exogenous variation that identifies this causal effect is constructed exploiting the lottery that assigns cases to judges together with the procedural prescription requiring judges to hold the first hearing of a case no later than 60 days from filing.
    Keywords: Individual production function, work scheduling, duration of trials
    JEL: J0 K0 M5
    Date: 2011–01–24
  9. By: Holzer, Harry J. (Georgetown University)
    Abstract: This paper reviews the evidence on the effects of less-skilled immigration to the U.S., and their implications for immigration reform. It begins with a review of the costs of less-skilled immigration, in terms of competition to native-born American workers; and the benefits of such immigration in the form of lower consumer prices, higher employer profits, and greater efficiency for the U.S. economy. Effects of different legal categories of immigrants and of immigrant integration over time are considered. The paper then reviews various reform proposals and other ideas that might raise the net benefits associated with less-skilled immigration to the U.S.
    Keywords: immigration, employment, less-educated workers
    JEL: J1 J15 J18
    Date: 2011–01
  10. By: Tamm, Katrin (University of Tartu); Eamets, Raul (University of Tartu); Mõtsmees, Pille (University of Tartu)
    Abstract: The growing awareness of the issue of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has raised the questions about how responsible behavior of firms would impact employees’ well-being. This paper investigates the link between corporate social responsibility and job satisfaction, which is a more widely recognized measure to assess well-being at work. Based on the survey of 3637 employees in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, measures of internal and external social responsibility are found to be positively associated with job satisfaction. Findings of the study indicate that employees’ assessments on various aspects of their job are noticeably higher in firms that are perceived as more engaged in CSR activities both towards their internal and external stakeholders. A further outcome of the study emphasizes the negative link between firm size and corporate social responsibility thus reflecting that smaller firms tend to show higher assessments regarding CSR. Similar relationships are also found between firm size and job satisfaction.
    Keywords: corporate social responsibility, stakeholder view, employee engagement, job satisfaction
    JEL: M14 M52
    Date: 2010–12
  11. By: Ferrari, Filippo
    Abstract: Job satisfaction is the degree to which people like their jobs. Companies are interested in job satisfaction of their employees, because it is positively correlated with certain desired outcomes and contributes to reduce significantly the rate of absenteeism and job turnover. Job satisfaction needs to be divided into three separate but related components: the overall opinion about the job, affective experience at work, beliefs about the job itself, and can be considered as a global feeling about the job or as a related constellation of attitudes about various aspects or facets of the job. The global approach is used when the overall attitude is of interest, the facet approach is used to find out which parts of job produce satisfaction or dissatisfaction. This article presents and discusses the results of a study carried out using both approaches to get a complete picture of employee job satisfaction on a consistent and significant sample of young workers (less than three years of tenure) belonging to the mechanical sector in a province in the Northeast of Italy. Using an analytical protocol the present study has identified aspects of work related (positively and negatively) to the job satisfaction.
    Keywords: Human resources management; Job Satisfaction; Need/Satisfaction Theory; Apprenticeship;
    JEL: J28 M54
    Date: 2011–01
  12. By: Adrian Chadi
    Abstract: In the modern welfare state, people who cannot make a living usually receive financial assistance from public funds. Accordingly, the so-called social work norm against living off other people is violated, which may be the reason why the unemployed are so unhappy. If so, however, labour market concepts based on the notion of promoting low-paid jobs that are subsidised if necessary with additional payments would appear far less favourable. It could be that people are employed, but still unhappy. Using German panel data, this paper examines the relevance of the social work norm and finds a significant disutility effect of living off public funds. Although this is true for employed people as well, the results show that the individual is generally better off having a job that requires additional assistance, than having no job at all. On the other hand, such policies as the recent German labour market reforms can trigger undesired side-effects, if policy-makers ignore the issue of the social work norm.
    Keywords: Unemployment, Social benefits, Low-wages, Labour market policies, Social norms, Well-being
    JEL: I31 J38 J60
    Date: 2011
  13. By: ALTAVILLA, Carlo (Dipartimento di Studi economici - Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope); GAROFALO, Antonio (Dipartimento di Studi economici - Università degli Studi di Napoli Parthenope); VINCI, Concetto Paolo (CELPE (Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy), University of Salerno, Italy)
    Abstract: How many hours per week should workers in the United States and Germany spend at their paying jobs? The present paper addresses this question by constructing policymakers’ reaction functions capable of modelling the optimal length of working time as a function of the relevant labour market variables. The empirical analysis is based on the optimal control algorithm. Given a policymaker’s loss function and a structural model of the labour market we define alternative specifications of reaction functions where the response coefficients indicate how policymakers should react to any news in the labour market in order to stabilize employment and wages. We also perform a comparative analysis on the ability of the rules to correspond to historical working-time records. The results suggest that simple rules perform quite well and that the advantages obtained from adopting an optimal controlbased rule are not so great. Moreover, the analysis emphasizes the success of the wage-based rule and of the employment-based rule in the US and Germany, respectively. Finally, we propose a policy rule to capture the dynamics of the weekly working hours. According to our rule the length of the workweek is an inverse function of the deviation between the actual and potential employment level.
    Keywords: policy rule; working-time; dynamic optimization
    JEL: C32 J23
    Date: 2011–01–18
  14. By: Bryan M (Institute for Social and Economic Research)
    Abstract: We use matched employer-employee data to explore the relationship between employeesÂ’ access to flexible working arrangements and the amount of informal care they provide to sick or elderly friends and relatives. Flexitime and the ability to reduce working hours are each associated with about 10% more hours of informal care, with effects concentrated among full-time workers providing small amounts of care. The wider workplace environment beyond formal flexible work also appears to facilitate care. Workplaces do not respond to the presence of carers by providing flexible work, instead there is some underlying selection of carers into flexible workplaces.
    Date: 2011–01–11
  15. By: AUTIERO, Giuseppina (CELPE (Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy), University of Salerno, Italy); BRUNO, Bruna (CELPE (Centre of Labour Economics and Economic Policy), University of Salerno, Italy)
    Abstract: The starting point in this paper is based on the strand of the literature on corporatist systems stressing the role of co-operation and consensus in wage bargaining in order to reach better economic performances. In order to model a co-operative regime in the classical framework in which the monopoly union controls wages and the firm controls employment, we introduce social preferences with some degree of other-regarding concern(ORC) such that each agent's objective function is a linear combination of her own welfare and the other's. The results show that under specific conditions concerning the degree of ORC, one may obtain an employment level higher than in the selfish case and wage moderation.
    Keywords: wage bargaining; corporatism; cooperation; social preferences
    JEL: J50 Z13
    Date: 2011–01–18

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