nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2011‒03‒26
eleven papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universita' di Bologna

  1. Labour Markets, Education and Duality of Returns By Mamoon, Dawood; Murshed, S. Mansoob
  2. Variation of learning intensity in late adolescence and the impact on noncognitive skills By Büttner, Bettina; Thiel, Hendrik; Thomsen, Stephan L.
  3. Gregariousness, interactive jobs and wages By Pfeiffer, Friedhelm; Schulz, Nico Johannes
  4. Determinants of Job Satisfaction across the EU-15: A Comparison of Self-Employed and Paid Employees By Jose Maria Millan; Jolanda Hessels; Roy Thurik; Rafael Aguado
  5. The wage premium puzzle and the quality of human capital By Milton H. Marquis; Bharat Trehan; Wuttipan Tantivong
  6. Quality of education and the labour market: A conceptual and literature overview By Eldridge Moses
  7. Work Absenteeism Due to a Chronic Disease By Lacroix, Guy; Brouard, Marie-Ève
  8. The Impact of Education on Unemployment Incidence and Re-employment Success: Evidence from the U.S. Labour Market By Riddell, Craig; Song, Xueda
  9. Not Just Because it is Fair - The Role of Feedback Quality and Voice in Performance Evaluation By Noeverman, J.
  10. Multitasking: Productivity Effects and Gender Differences By Thomas Buser; Noemi Peter
  11. What Do CEOs Do? By Oriana Bandiera; Luigi Guiso; Andrea Prat; Raffaella Sadun

  1. By: Mamoon, Dawood; Murshed, S. Mansoob
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to examine the impact of increased trade on wage inequality in developing countries, and whether a higher human capital stock moderates this effect. We look at the skilled-unskilled wage differential. When better educated societies open up their economies, increased trade is likely to induce less inequality on impact because the supply of skills better matches demand. But greater international exposure also brings about technological diffusion, further raising skilled labour demand. This may raise wage inequality, in contrast to the initial egalitarian level effect of human capital. We attempt to measure these two opposing forces. We also employ a broad set of indicators to measure trade liberalization policies as well as general openness, which is an outcome, and not a policy variable. We further examine what type of education most reduces inequality. Our findings suggest that countries with a higher level of initial human capital do well on the inequality front, but human capital which accrues through the trade liberalization channel has inegalitarian effects. Our results also have implications for the speed at which trade policies are liberalized, the implication being that better educated nations should liberalize faster.
    Keywords: Integration; Trade Liberalization; Wage Inequality
    JEL: F16 F15 O24 C21
    Date: 2011–03
  2. By: Büttner, Bettina; Thiel, Hendrik; Thomsen, Stephan L.
    Abstract: Despite the interdependence between cognitive and noncognitive skills, empirical studies have shown a longer period of acquisition in life-time for the latter besides relevance for educational and labor market success. Analyzing returns of investments during different periods of life is therefore economically meaningful. We evaluate the effects of a substantial increase in the amount of curriculum per unit of time (learning intensity) at the end of higher secondary schooling on nine types of these skills. The results show no influence on the acquisition of noncognitive skills, indicating that personality does rather not depend on schooling investments in late adolescence. --
    Keywords: Noncognitive skills,human capital formation,learning intensity,natural experiment,Big Five,Locus of Control,Reciprocity,Self-Control
    JEL: I21 I28 J24 C21
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Pfeiffer, Friedhelm; Schulz, Nico Johannes
    Abstract: Gregariousness is an important aspect of human life with implications for labour market outcomes. The paper examines, to the best of our knowledge for the first time for Germany, gregariousness and social interaction at the workplace and associated wage differentials. Our empirical findings with samples from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) demonstrate that gregarious people more often work in jobs with social interaction. Furthermore, females tend to work more often in interactive jobs compared to males. There is evidence that working in an interactive job is associated with a compensating negative wage differential of 7 percent for women and non for men. Implications for wage policy are discussed. --
    Keywords: Gregariousness,social interactions,labour markets,sorting,wage differentials
    JEL: J01 J24 J31
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Jose Maria Millan (University of Huelva); Jolanda Hessels (Erasmus School of Economics); Roy Thurik (Erasmus School of Economics); Rafael Aguado (University of Huelva)
    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.
    Keywords: entrepreneurship; self-employment; job satisfaction; Europe
    JEL: J24 J28 L26 O52
    Date: 2011–02–22
  5. By: Milton H. Marquis; Bharat Trehan; Wuttipan Tantivong
    Abstract: The wage premium for high-skilled workers in the United States, measured as the ratio of the 90th-to-10th percentiles from the wage distribution, increased by 20 percent from the 1970s to the late 1980s. A large literature has emerged to explain this phenomenon. A leading explanation is that skill-biased technological change (SBTC) increased the demand for skilled labor relative to unskilled labor. In a calibrated vintage capital model with heterogenous labor, this paper examines whether SBTC is likely to have been a major factor in driving up the wage premium. Our results suggest that the contribution of SBTC is very small, accounting for about 1/20th of the observed increase. By contrast, a gradual and very modest shift in the distribution of human capital across workers can easily account for the large observed increase in wage inequality.
    Keywords: Labor supply ; Wages
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Eldridge Moses (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: In South Africa earnings inequality between races still persists despite the convergence of educational attainment between races. There is a now a growing body of evidence which suggests that the quality of education received by South Africans differs markedly amongst and within race groups, and that schools differ substantially in their ability to impart cognitive skills. This paper reviews the international and South African literature which considers the role of education quality in improving labour market prospects. Education quality is considered from both from an input and output perspective. This paper concludes that education output quality, particularly the ability of a school system to impart cognitive skills, is a crucial determinant of labour market success.
    Keywords: South Africa, Education, Earnings Functions, Education Quality, Cognitive Skills, Labour Market
    JEL: I20 I21 I30 J30
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Lacroix, Guy (Université Laval); Brouard, Marie-Ève (Gouvernement du Québec)
    Abstract: Research on health-related work absenteeism focuses primarily on moral hazard issues but seldom discriminates between the types of illnesses that prompt workers to stay home or seek care. This paper focuses on chronic migraine, a common and acute illness that can prove to be relatively debilitating. Our analysis is based upon the absenteeism of workers employed in a large Fortune-100 manufacturing firm in the United States. We model their daily transitions between work and absence spells between January 1996 up until December 1998. Only absences due to migraine and depression, its main comorbidity, are taken into account. Our results show that there is considerable correlation between the different states we consider. In addition, workers who are covered by the Blue Preferred Provided Organization tend to have shorter employment spells but also shorter migraine spells.
    Keywords: migraine, absenteeism, insurance policies, transition models, unobserved heterogeneity
    JEL: I10 J32
    Date: 2011–03
  8. By: Riddell, Craig (University of British Columbia, Vancouver); Song, Xueda (York University, Canada)
    Abstract: This study investigates the causal effects of education on individuals’ transitions between employment and unemployment, with particular focus on the extent to which education improves re-employment outcomes among unemployed workers. Given that positive correlations between education and labour force transitions are likely to be confounded by the endogeneity of education, we make use of data on compulsory schooling laws and child labour laws as well as conscription risk in the Vietnam War period to create instrumental variables to identify the causal relationships. Results indicate that education significantly increases re-employment rates of the unemployed. Particularly large impacts are found in the neighborhoods of 12 and 16 years of schooling. Evidence on the impact of formal schooling on unemployment incidence is mixed.
    Keywords: education, labour market transitions, unemployment, causal effects, compulsory schooling laws, child labour laws, Vietnam War draft
    JEL: I20 J64
    Date: 2011–03
  9. By: Noeverman, J.
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of feedback quality and voice in performance evaluation. A model is developed and tested in which feedback quality and voice enhance procedural fairness perceptions (procedure effects), and procedural fairness perceptions in turn lead to different positive reactions (fair process effects). Voice is distinguished in instrumental and non-instrumental voice. The findings based on questionnaire data from 60 early career accountants show that the two components of voice and feedback quality are uniquely associated with procedural fairness perceptions, and through procedural fairness with distributive justice, trust in superior, and satisfaction with the appraisal review. Beyond these fairness effects, feedback quality is directly associated with satisfaction with the appraisal review and distributive justice, while instrumental and non-instrumental voice are directly associated with interpersonal trust in supervisor. Thus, feedback quality is mainly associated with outcome-based effects, while voice primarily enhances relational effects. These findings show that feedback quality and voice serve important but different roles in performance evaluation and help promote positive attitudes and behaviour of employees beyond fair process effects.
    Keywords: evaluation;fair process effect;fairness;voice;trust
    Date: 2010–12–31
  10. By: Thomas Buser (University of Amsterdam); Noemi Peter (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We examine how multitasking affects performance and check whether women are indeed better at multitasking. Subjects in our experiment perform two different tasks according to three treatments: one where they perform the tasks sequentially, one where they are forced to multitask, and one where they can freely organize their work. Subjects who are forced to multitask perform significantly worse than those forced to work sequentially. Surprisingly, subjects who can freely organize their own schedule also perform significantly worse. Finally, our results do not support the stereotype that women are better at multitasking. Women suffer as much as men when forced to multitask and are actually less inclined to multitask when being free to choose.
    Keywords: multitasking; productivity; gender; lab experiment
    JEL: C91 J16 J24
    Date: 2011–02–22
  11. By: Oriana Bandiera; Luigi Guiso; Andrea Prat; Raffaella Sadun
    Abstract: We develop a methodology to collect and analyze data on CEO’s time use. The idea sketched out in a simple theoretical set-up is that CEO time is a scarce resource and its allocation can help us identify the firm’s priorities as well as the presence of governance issues. We follow 94 CEOs of top-600 Italian firms over a pre-specified week and record the time devoted each day to different work activities. We focus on the distinction between time spent with insiders (employees of the firm) and outsiders (people not employed by the firm). Individual CEOs differ systematically in how much time they spend at work and in how much time they devote to insiders vs. outsiders. We analyze the correlation between time use, managerial effort, quality of governance and firm performance, and interpret the empirical findings within two versions of our model, one with effective and one with imperfect corporate governance. The patterns we observe are consistent with the hypothesis that time spent with outsiders is on average less beneficial to the firm and more beneficial to the CEO and that the CEO spends more time with outsiders when governance is poor.
    Date: 2011

This nep-hrm issue is ©2011 by Tommaso Reggiani. 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.