nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2011‒10‒09
fourteen papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universita' di Bologna

  1. Migration and Education By Christian Dustmann; Albrecht Glitz
  2. Returns to education across Europe: A comparative analysis for selected EU countries By Glocker, Daniela; Steiner, Viktor
  3. Human Capital and Organizational Performance: Evidence from the Healthcare Sector By Ann P. Bartel; Ciaran S. Phibbs; Nancy Beaulieu; Patricia Stone
  4. Job satisfaction in Italy: individual characteristics and social relations By Damiano Fiorillo; Nunzia Nappo
  5. Firms’ moral hazard in sickness absences By René Böheim; Thomas Leoni
  6. Human Recognition and its Role in Economic Development: A Theoretical Model By Tony Castleman
  7. Gender Division of Labor and Alimony By Waka Cheung; Yew-Kwang Ng
  8. Economic Sociology or Economic Imperialism? The Case of Gary C. Becker By Tittenbrun, Jacek S.
  9. Measurement of Human Recognition: A Methodology with Empirical Applications in India and Kenya By Tony Castleman
  10. Age and productivity: Sector differences? By Göbel, Christian; Zwick, Thomas
  11. Is There a 'Hidden Cost of Control' in Naturally-Occurring Markets? Evidence from a Natural Field Experiment By Craig E. Landry; Andreas Lange; John A. List; Michael K. Price; Nicholas G. Rupp
  12. Productivity, Wages and Marriage: The Case of Major League Baseball By Francesca Cornaglia; Naomi E. Feldman
  13. CEO Turnover: More Evidence on the Role of Performance Expectations By Humphreys, Brad; Paul, Rodney; Weinbach, Andrew
  14. Why without pay? Intrinsic motivation in unpaid labour supply By Bruna Bruno; Damiano Fiorillo

  1. By: Christian Dustmann (CReAM, University College London); Albrecht Glitz (CReAM, Universitat Pompeu Fabra)
    Abstract: Sjaastad (1962) viewed migration in the same way as education: as an investment in the human agent. Migration and education are decisions that are indeed intertwined in many dimensions. Education and skill acquisition play an important role at many stages of an individual's migration. Differential returns to skills in origin- and destination country are a main driver of migration. The economic success of the immigrant in the destination country is to a large extent determined by her educational background, how transferable these skills are to the host country labour market, and how much she invests into further skills after arrival. The desire to acquire skills in the host country that have a high return in the country of origin may also be an important reason for a migration. From an intertemporal point of view, the possibility of a later migration may also affect educational decisions in the home country long before a migration is realised. In addition, the decisions of migrants regarding their own educational investment, and their expectations about future migration plans may also affect the educational attainment of their children. But migration and education are not only related for those who migrate or their descendants. Migrations of some individuals may have consequences for educational decisions of those who do not migrate, both in the home and in the host country. By easing credit constraints through remittances, migration of some may help others to go to school. By changing the skill base of the receiving country, migration may change incentives to invest in certain types of human capital. Migrants and their children may create externalities that influence educational outcomes of non-migrants in the destination country. This chapter will discuss some of the key areas that connect migration and education.
    Keywords: Migration, Education, Human Capital, Return Migration, Immigrant Selection, Second-generation
    Date: 2011–02
  2. By: Glocker, Daniela; Steiner, Viktor
    Abstract: Incentives to invest in higher education are affected by both the direct wage effect of human capital investments and the indirect wage effect resulting from lower unemployment risks and shorter spells in unemployment associated with higher educated. We analyse the returns to education in Austria, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom, countries which differ significantly regarding both their education systems and labour market structure. We estimate augmented Mincerian wage equations accounting for the effects of unemployment on individual wages using EU-SILC data. Across countries we find a high variation of the effect of education on unemployment duration. Overall, the returns to education are estimated to be the highest in the UK, and the lowest for Sweden. A wage decrease due to time spent in unemployment results in a decline in the hourly wages in Austria, Germany and Italy. --
    Keywords: Returns to education,unemployment,EU-SILC
    JEL: I21 J31 H42
    Date: 2011
  3. By: Ann P. Bartel; Ciaran S. Phibbs; Nancy Beaulieu; Patricia Stone
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the literature on the relationship between human capital and organizational performance. We use detailed longitudinal monthly data on nursing units in the Veterans Administration hospital system to identify how the human capital (general, hospital-specific and unit or team-specific) of the nursing team on the unit affects patients' outcomes. Since we use monthly, not annual, data, we are able to avoid the omitted variable bias and endogeneity bias that could result when annual data are used. Nurse staffing levels, general human capital, and unit-specific human capital have positive and significant effects on patient outcomes while the use of contract nurses, who have less specific capital than regular staff nurses, negatively impacts patient outcomes. Policies that would increase the specific human capital of the nursing staff are found to be cost-effective.
    JEL: I11 I12 J24
    Date: 2011–09
  4. By: Damiano Fiorillo; Nunzia Nappo (-)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the determinants of job satisfaction in Italy with particular emphasis on social relations. Our econometric analysis is based on four waves (1993, 1995, 1998 and 2000) of the Multipurpose Household Survey conducted annually by the Italian Central Statistics Office. The results of ordered probit regressions and robustness tests show that volunteering and meetings with friends are significantly and positively correlated with job satisfaction, with religious participation playing the biggest role. Our findings also show that meetings with friends increase job satisfaction through self-perceived health.
    Keywords: Job satisfaction; Social relations; Social capital; Health; Statistical matching; Italy.
    JEL: C31 J28 Z1
    Date: 2011–05–31
  5. By: René Böheim (Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria); Thomas Leoni (Österreichisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (WIFO) (Austrian Institute of Economic Research))
    Abstract: Sick workers in many countries receive sick pay during their illness- related absences from the workplace. In several countries, the social security system insures firms against their workers’ sickness absences. However, this insurance may create moral hazard problems for firms, leading to the inefficient monitoring of absences or to an underinvestment in their prevention. In the present paper, we investigate firms’ moral hazard problems in sickness absences by analyzing a legislative change that took place in Austria in 2000. In September 2000, an insurance fund that refunded firms for the costs of their blue-collar workers’ sickness absences was abolished (firms did not receive a similar refund for their white-collar workers’ sickness absences). Before that time, small firms were fully refunded for the wage costs of blue- collar workers’ sickness absences. Large firms, by contrast, were refunded only 70% of the wages paid to sick blue-collar workers. Using a difference-in-differences-in-differences approach, we estimate the causal impact of refunding firms for their workers’ sickness absences. Our results indicate that the incidences of blue-collar workers’ sicknesses dropped by approximately 8% and sickness absences were almost 11% shorter following the removal of the refund. Several robustness checks confirm these results.
    Keywords: absenteeism, moral hazard, sickness insurance
    JEL: J22 I38
    Date: 2011–09
  6. By: Tony Castleman (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper presents a model of human recognition, a concept defined as the acknowledgement provided to an individual that he is of inherent value with intrinsic qualities in common with the recognizer. The model describes provision and receipt of human recognition, its contribution to utility, its effects on health and labor supply, and the role it plays in development programs. The model provides a theoretical basis for understanding human recognition, lays the foundation for empirical study, and offers an example of how non-material components of development can be formally modeled. Key predictions from the model are that human recognition has a positive, causal relationship with utility, health outcomes, and labor supply; that multiple equilibria forhuman recognition can exist, and groups can be stuck in low-level equilibria; and that only accounting for the instrumental effects recognition has on material outcomes while ignoring its direct effects on utility leads to suboptimal programs.
    Keywords: human recognition, economic development, health, poverty, well-being, dignity, respect, dehumanization, humiliation
    JEL: I31 O15
    Date: 2011–09
  7. By: Waka Cheung; Yew-Kwang Ng
    Abstract: According to the principle of comparative advantage, the gender division of labor is utility enhancing during marriage. However, in the long term it decreases the earning power of the party who specializes in housework. Once the marriage is dissolved she/he will be the losing party and hence should be compensated by the other party, who specializes in paid work which usually involves higher degree in the accumulation of human capital. As an effective means of compensation, it is shown formally that alimony may promote the gender division of labor and improve Pareto efficiency. The rule of remarriage termination of alimony is doubly inefficient by reducing gender division of labor and by discouraging efficient remarriages.
    Keywords: Gender; division of labor; alimony; spousal support; marriage; specialization.
    JEL: D13 C7 D8
    Date: 2011–09
  8. By: Tittenbrun, Jacek S.
    Abstract: The paper is devoted to a critical analysis of a number of key theories by Gary S. Becker. It is commonly believed that his main accomplishment lies in the extension of the scope of an economic analysis to include numerous traditionally considered as non-economic phenomena. This extension, however, is only feasible at the expense of another extension – this time of the scope of the concepts used. This over-inclusiveness , in turn, makes his theories impossible to falsify, thus calling into question their scientific quality. In the process of considering particular Becker’s conceptions, i.e. human and social capital, the family, marriage and household and the polity a host of other specific drawbacks of Becker’s economic approach to social processes, often related to his ideological bias are indicated.
    Keywords: Becker; human capital; social capital; marriage; altruism; self-interest family
    JEL: A12
    Date: 2011–09–25
  9. By: Tony Castleman (Institute for International Economic Policy, George Washington University)
    Abstract: This paper develops and applies a methodology for measuring human recognition, which is defined as the acknowledgement provided to an individual by other individuals, groups, or organizations that he is of inherent value with intrinsic qualities in common with the recognizer. A framework is developed that organizes the sources of human recognition into various domains of an individual's life. The framework is used to develop an index of indicators that measures human recognition received in each of the domains and combines these domain-specific measures into a single overall measure of human recognition received. Two empirical applications of the index are presented with cross-sectional survey data from India and Kenya. Exploratory factor analysis is used to generate measures of human recognition with the index, and the resulting measures are used in multivariate regression models of nutritional status. Results from both datasets provide evidence that human recognition is a significant, independent, positive determinant of nutritional status, controlling for socio-economic characteristics. The method and applications demonstrate how latent, intangible aspects of development such as human recognition can be measured and indicate that further empirical work on the determinants and effects of human recognition is both feasible and needed.
    Keywords: human recognition, nutrition, health, dehumanization, dignity, respect, domestic violence, measurement, India, Kenya, economic development, poverty
    JEL: I12 I31 O15
    Date: 2011–10
  10. By: Göbel, Christian; Zwick, Thomas
    Abstract: In most industrialised countries, the workforce is ageing rapidly. If ageing workforces affect sectors differently, the total impact of ageing will depend on the industrial structure of an economy. This paper measures the impact of changes in the age structure of establishments on productivity using representative linked employeremployee panel data. We argue that establishment age-productivity profiles might differ for various reasons. For example, the importance of physical strength and possibilities to compensate deficits in skills differ between sectors. We investigate differences in the age-productivity profiles between the (metal) manufacturing and services sectors. However, in our preferred specification that controls for several potential sources of estimation biases, we find no significant differences in the ageproductivity profiles between these sectors. --
    Keywords: Ageing workforce,age,productivity,linked employer employee data,sectors
    JEL: J11 J14 J21
    Date: 2011
  11. By: Craig E. Landry; Andreas Lange; John A. List; Michael K. Price; Nicholas G. Rupp
    Abstract: Several recent laboratory experiments have shown that the use of explicit incentives—such as conditional rewards and punishment—entail considerable “hidden” costs. The costs are hidden in the sense that they escape our attention if our reasoning is based on the assumption that people are exclusively self-interested. This study represents a first attempt to explore whether, and to what extent, such considerations affect equilibrium outcomes in the field. Using data gathered from nearly 3000 households, we find little support for the negative consequences of control in naturally-occurring labor markets. In fact, even though we find evidence that workers are reciprocal, we find that worker effort is maximized when we use conditional—not unconditional—rewards to incent workers.
    JEL: C93 J3 J33
    Date: 2011–09
  12. By: Francesca Cornaglia; Naomi E. Feldman
    Abstract: The effect of marriage on productivity and, consequently, wages has been long debated in economics. A primary explanation for the impact of marriage on wages has been through its impact on productivity, however, there has been no direct evidence for this. In this paper, we aim to fill this gap by directly measuring the impact of marriage on productivity using a sample of professional baseball players from 1871 - 2007. Our results show that only lower ability men see an increase in productivity, though this result is sensitive to the empirical specification and weakly significant. In addition, despite the lack of any effect on productivity, high ability married players earn roughly 16 - 20 percent more than their single counterparts. We discuss possible reasons why employers may favor married men.
    Keywords: Productivity, wage gap, marriage, and baseball
    JEL: J31 J44 J70
    Date: 2011–09
  13. By: Humphreys, Brad (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Paul, Rodney (Syracure University); Weinbach, Andrew (Coastal Carolina University)
    Abstract: Previous research on CEO turnover indicates that a number of factors, including age, firm performance, and expected firm performance affect CEO turnover. Measurement of expected performance in these studies is typically based on investment analysts’ forecasts of earnings; these expectations potentially suffer from a number of problems, including the tendency for CEOs to “manage” analysts’ expectations. We examine the relationship between performance expectations and CEO turnover using data from NCAA Division I-A college football using a market-determined measure of expected performance, winning percentage against point spreads; this expected performance measure does not suffer from many of the problems that plague analysts’ earnings forecasts. We find that performance expectations, actual expectations, and tenure affect CEO turnover in NCAA Division I-A college football, based on performance data from 102 Division I-A football programs over the period 1980-2004.
    Keywords: CEO turnover; performance expectations; betting markets
    JEL: D84 J44 J63
    Date: 2011–09–01
  14. By: Bruna Bruno; Damiano Fiorillo (-)
    Abstract: Economic theory explains the supply of volunteering alternatively as an ordinary consumer good or an investment one. This paper provides a simultaneous approach considering both the objectives, by using the psychological distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, in order to reconcile conflicting results reported in the literature. According to the simultaneity approach, the paper develops a theoretical model of unpaid labour supply within an agent’s two-period utility maximization problem, taking into account the role of psychological motivation. The theoretical findings are tested with a sample selection model for Italy, by using 1997 Multipurpose Households Survey on everyday life issues of Istat. Robustness analysis and endogeneity test for intrinsic motivation are also performed. Empirical analysis rejects the hypothesis that only a consumption or investment motive could explain Italian volunteers’ behaviour, supporting the hypothesis that both motives interact in shaping regular unpaid labour supply, with a stronger impact of consumption motives. The relevant variables for frequently supplied unpaid labour are intrinsic motivation, age, household income, family responsibilities and activity sector.
    Keywords: Intrinsic motivation, investment and consumption motives, volunteering.
    JEL: C21 J22 Z13
    Date: 2011–03–31

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