nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2011‒05‒30
fifteen papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universita' di Bologna

  1. Effects of Training on Employee Suggestions and Promotions in an Internal Labor Market By Christian Pfeifer; Simon Janssen; Philip Yang; Uschi Backes-Gellner
  2. Health Effects on Children's Willingness to Compete By Bartling, Björn; Fehr, Ernst; Schunk, Daniel
  3. Human capital investment strategies in Europe By Pfeiffer, Friedhelm; Reuß, Karsten
  4. An investigation into the positive effect of an educated wife on her husband’s earnings: the case of Japan in the period between 2000 and 2003. By Yamamura, Eiji; Mano, Yukichi
  5. Inequality, Human Capital Formation and the Process of Development By Oded Galor
  6. Giving Voice to Employees and Spreading Information within the Firm: the Manner Matters By Enzo Valentini
  7. Worker information and firm disclosure: Analysis of French workplace data By Perraudin, Corinne; Petit, Héloïse; Rebérioux, Antoine
  8. Low-wage jobs - stepping stones or just bad signals? By Mosthaf, Alexander
  9. The currency of reciprocity - gift-exchange in the workplace By Kube, Sebastian; Maréchal, Michel André; Puppe, Clemens
  10. Field Experiments with Firms By Bandiera, Oriana; Barankay, Iwan; Rasul, Imran
  11. Compensation of Unusual Working Schedules By Juliane Scheffel
  12. Equity and Efficiency in Multi-Worker Firms: Insights from Experimental Economics By Abeler, Johannes; Altmann, Steffen; Goerg, Sebastian; Kube, Sebastian; Wibral, Matthias
  13. Unemployment Benefits and Work Incentives: The U.S. Labor Market in the Great Recession By David Howell, Bert M. Azizoglu
  14. Prizes versus Wages with Envy and Pride By Pradeep Dubey; John Geanakoplos; Ori Haimanko
  15. The relationship between absence from work and job satisfaction: Greece and UK comparisons By Drakopoulos, Stavros A.; Grimani, Aikaterini

  1. By: Christian Pfeifer (Leuphana University Lueneburg, Institute of Economics; and IZA); Simon Janssen (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Philip Yang (Leibniz University Hannover, Institute of Labor Economics); Uschi Backes-Gellner (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich)
    Abstract: We evaluate the effects of employer-provided formal training on employee suggestions for productivity improvements and on promotions among male blue-collar workers. More than twenty years of personnel data of four entry cohorts in a German company allow us to address issues such as unobserved heterogeneity and the length of potential training effects. Our main finding is that workers have larger probabilities to make suggestions and to be promoted after they have received formal training. The effect on suggestions is however only short term. Promotion probabilities are largest directly after training but also seem to be affected in the long term.
    Keywords: Human capital, Insider econometrics, Productivity, Promotions, Training
    JEL: J24 M53
    Date: 2011–05
  2. By: Bartling, Björn (University of Zurich); Fehr, Ernst (University of Zurich); Schunk, Daniel (University of Zurich)
    Abstract: The formation of human capital is important for a society’s welfare and economic success. Recent literature shows that child health can provide an important explanation for disparities in children's human capital development across different socio-economic groups. While this literature focuses on cognitive skills as determinants of human capital, it neglects non-cognitive skills. We analyze data from economic experiments with preschoolers and their mothers to investigate whether child health can explain developmental gaps in children's non-cognitive skills. Our measure for children's non-cognitive skills is their willingness to compete with others. Our findings suggest that health problems are negatively related to children's willingness to compete and that the effect of health on competitiveness differs with socio-economic background. Health has a strongly negative effect in our sub-sample with low socioeconomic background, whereas there is no effect in our sub-sample with high socio-economic background.
    Keywords: willingness to compete, non-cognitive skills, human capital, health, household survey studies
    JEL: C90 I10 J24
    Date: 2011–05
  3. By: Pfeiffer, Friedhelm; Reuß, Karsten
    Abstract: The paper analyses alternative investment policies and their consequences for the evolution of human capital in Europe based on a model of age dependent skill formation where the life span depends on investments during childhood. What makes the approach special is the analysis of the returns to education of alternative educational policies targeted at certain ages, countries, or productivity levels for two counterfactual policy regimes, one regime assuming the actual state of diversity and the other a unified Europe. Our results indicate that investments need to be directed more generally to people of younger ages in Europe. If equality is important enough additional investment should specifically be directed to disadvantaged individuals during childhood. Furthermore, high levels of life cycle income inequality and a high skill level increase the optimal amount of investments during younger adulthood. In a unified Europe, the effectiveness of policies to reduce inequality would be higher. --
    Keywords: human capital investment,life cycle skill formation,welfare function,Europe
    JEL: D87 I12 I21 J13
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Yamamura, Eiji; Mano, Yukichi
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of a wife’s human capital on her husband’s earnings, using individual-level data for Japan in the period 2000–2003. We find a positive association between a wife’s education and her husband’s earnings, which can be attributed to the assortative mating effect as well as the positive effect of an educated wife on her husband’s productivity. We divide the sample into those couples with non-working wives and those with working wives, and also employ an estimation strategy proposed by Jepsen (2005), attempting to control for the assortative mating effect. Our regression analysis provides suggestive evidence that educated wives increase their husbands’ productivity and earnings only when they are non-workers and have sufficient time to support their husbands.
    Keywords: earnings; human capital; marriage; the family; assortative mating; cross-productivity effect within marriage.
    JEL: D13 J31 J22 J24
    Date: 2011–05–23
  5. By: Oded Galor
    Abstract: Conventional wisdom about the relationship between income distribution and economic development has been subjected to dramatic transformations in the past century. While classical economists advanced the hypothesis that inequality is beneficial for growth, the neoclassical paradigm dismissed the classical hypothesis and suggested that income distribution has limited role in the growth process. A metamorphosis in these perspectives has taken place in the past two decades. Theory and subsequent empirical evidence have demonstrated that income distribution has a significant impact on human capital formation and the development process. In early stages of industrialization, as physical capital accumulation was a prime engine of growth, inequality enhanced the process of development by channeling resources towards individuals whose marginal propensity to save is higher. In later stages of development, however, as human capital has become a main engine of growth, equality, in the presence of credit constraints, has stimulated human capital formation and growth. Moreover, unequal distribution of land has been a hurdle for economic development. While industrialists have had an incentive to support education policies that foster human capital formation, landowners, whose interests lay in the reduction of the mobility of their labor force, have favored policies that deprived the masses of education.
    JEL: O11 O15
    Date: 2011–05
  6. By: Enzo Valentini (University of Macerata)
    Abstract: <div style="text-align: justify;">Economists are paying increasing attention to “factors” in job satisfaction. Job satisfaction can affect productivity, effort, absenteeism, and quits. This paper analyzes data from the “Working in Britain, 2000” questionnaire; the results confirm the effects of individual features on job satisfaction, as highlighted in previous studies. The analysis shows that job satisfaction can be enhanced by spreading information within the organization and by giving voice to employees, but the management must choose communication strategies perceived as reliable by the employees.</div>
    Keywords: Human Resource Management,Job satisfaction,gift exchange,employees’ voice,procedural utility
    JEL: J28 J53 D23
    Date: 2011–05
  7. By: Perraudin, Corinne; Petit, Héloïse; Rebérioux, Antoine
    Abstract: Information disclosure requirements significantly increased in French listed companies in the early 2000s, converging toward the U.S./U.K. stock market standards. Following the burgeoning literature on relations between corporate governance and labor, we investigate the consequences of this process regarding worker information: does more information for shareholders mean more information for workers? We take advantage of a French (representative) establishment survey that generates linked ‘employer–employee representative’ information at two points in time, 1998 and 2004. Our results strongly suggest that worker information has improved in listed companies but not in private ones, as an externality of the financialization process.
    Keywords: worker information; corporate governance; firm disclosure; workplace data
    JEL: J53 G39 C21
    Date: 2011–05
  8. By: Mosthaf, Alexander (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This study investigates how the effects of low-wage employment and non-employment on wage prospects vary depending on qualification. We apply dynamic multinomial logit models with random effects and include interactions of the lagged labor market state with qualification to estimate heterogeneity in state dependence. We find that low-wage jobs are stepping stones to high-paid jobs for low qualified workers. In contrast, the chances of workers with a university degree to obtain a high-paid job are the same when being low-paid or non-employed (whereas their risk of non-employment is lower when having a low-paid job). Furthermore, our results suggest that for workers with university degree low-wage jobs are associated with negative signals." (author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J30 J60 C33
    Date: 2011–05–23
  9. By: Kube, Sebastian; Maréchal, Michel André; Puppe, Clemens
    Abstract: What determines reciprocity in employment relations? We conducted a controlled field experiment to measure the extent to which monetary and non-monetary gifts affect workers' performance. We find that nonmonetary gifts have a much stronger impact than monetary gifts of equivalent value. We also observe that when workers are offered the choice, they prefer receiving the money but reciprocate as if they received a nonmonetary gift. This result is consistent with the common saying, 'it's the thought that counts.' We underline this point by showing that also monetary gifts can effectively trigger reciprocity if the employer invests more time and effort into the gift's presentation. --
    Keywords: field experiment,reciprocity,gift exchange,non-monetary gifts,in-kind gifts
    JEL: C93 J30
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Bandiera, Oriana (London School of Economics); Barankay, Iwan (University of Pennsylvania); Rasul, Imran (University College London)
    Abstract: We discuss how the use of field experiments sheds light on long standing research questions relating to firm behavior. We present insights from two classes of experiments: within and across firms, and draw common lessons from both sets. Field experiments within firms generally aim to shed light on the nature of agency problems. Along these lines, we discuss how field experiments have provided new insights on shirking behavior, and the provision of monetary and non-monetary incentives. Field experiments across firms generally aim to uncover firms' binding constraints by exogenously varying the availability of key inputs such as labor, physical capital, and managerial capital. We conclude by discussing some of the practical issues researchers face when designing experiments and by highlighting areas for further research.
    Keywords: field experiments, firms, organizations
    JEL: C9 M5
    Date: 2011–05
  11. By: Juliane Scheffel
    Abstract: This paper examines pecuniary aspects of work during unusual hours based on the German Time Use Data for 2001/02. The findings show positive wage premia of 9 – 10 percent for shift workers and men who work during unusual hours. There is some evidence of negative selection which suggests that men with lower potential daytime earnings have a higher propensity to choose these jobs because of the associated wage premium. The findings further show a U-shaped impact of temporal work disamenity across the wage distribution with higher wage premia paid to the extreme 5-percentiles.
    Keywords: Shift Work, Non-Standard Working Hours, Time Allocation, Compensating Wage Differentials, Wage Premia, Quantile Regression
    JEL: J22 J31 J33 J81
    Date: 2011–05
  12. By: Abeler, Johannes (University of Nottingham); Altmann, Steffen (IZA); Goerg, Sebastian (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods); Kube, Sebastian (University of Bonn); Wibral, Matthias (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: In this paper, we discuss recent evidence from economic experiments that study the impact of social preferences on workplace behavior. We focus on situations in which a single employer interacts with multiple employees. Traditionally, equity and efficiency have been seen as opposing aims in such work environments: individual pay-for-performance schemes maximize efficiency but might lead to inequitable outcomes. We present findings from laboratory experiments that show under which circumstances partially incomplete contracts can create equitable work environments while at the same time reaching surprisingly efficient outcomes.
    Keywords: incentives, wage setting, equity, gift exchange, reciprocity, incomplete contracts, organizational economics, laboratory experiments
    JEL: J33 D63 M52 C92 J41
    Date: 2011–05
  13. By: David Howell, Bert M. Azizoglu (New School for Social Research, New York, NY)
    Keywords: Unemployment, Unemployment Insurance, Recession, Labor Market
    Date: 2011–04
  14. By: Pradeep Dubey (Center for Game Theory, Department of Economics, SUNY at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794, and Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520,USA); John Geanakoplos (Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA); Ori Haimanko (Department of Economics, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva 84105, Israel)
    Abstract: We show that if agents are risk neutral, prizes outperform wages if and only if there is sufficient pride and envy relative to the noisiness of performance. If agents are risk averse, prizes are a necessary supplement to wages (as bonuses).
    Keywords: Envy, Pride, Wages, Prizes, Bonus
    JEL: C72 D01 D23 L14
    Date: 2011
  15. By: Drakopoulos, Stavros A.; Grimani, Aikaterini
    Abstract: The paper starts with a literature survey concerning absenteeism and job satisfaction. Most of the literature on absenteeism suggests that absence from work is a complex issue influenced by multiple causes, both of personal and of organizational nature. Job satisfaction has also been identified as one of the factors affecting an employee’s motivation to work attendance. There is no universal agreement concerning the relationship between absenteeism and job satisfaction. Some research has found no correlation between these two variables whereas other studies indicate a weak relationship between these two variables. It has also been suggested that absence and job satisfaction might be more strongly related under some conditions, for instance in case of blue collar workers. After a survey of the relevant literature, this study attempts to establish a causal relationship between absenteeism and job satisfaction using a new set of Greek and European data. The paper concentrates on Greek data given that absenteeism has not been the subject of systematic investigation in Greece. The empirical results suggest that there is a weak negative relationship between injury absenteeism and job satisfaction. Furthermore, comparisons are made with similar findings from UK.
    Keywords: Job Satisfaction; Absenteeism; Greek labour market
    JEL: J28 I10
    Date: 2011–05

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