nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2011‒11‒01
27 papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universita' di Bologna

  1. The Impact of Labor Market Entry Condition on Initial Job Assignment, Human Capital Accumulation, and Wages By Beatrice Brunner; Andreas Kuhn
  2. Firms’ moral hazard in sickness absences By René Böheim; Thomas Leoni
  3. Scarring Effects of Remaining Unemployed for Long-Term Unemployed School-Leavers By Bart COCKX; Matteo PICCHIO
  4. A national accounts satellite for human capital and education By Bos, Frits
  5. Occupational Mobility, Occupation Distance and Specific Human Capital By Chris Robinson
  6. Do Women Prefer a Co-operative Work Environment? By Peter Kuhn; Marie-Claire Villeval
  7. Growth vs level effect of population change on economic development: An inspection into human-capital-related mechanisms By Raouf Boucekkine; Blanca Martínez; Ramon Ruiz-Tamarit
  8. Human capital, technological spillovers and development across OECD countries By Rosa Bernardini Papalia; Silvia Bertarelli; Carlo Filippucci
  9. Self-Confidence and Teamwork : An Experimental Test By Isabelle Vialle; Luis Santos-Pinto; Jean-Louis Rullière
  10. When the Early Bird Catches the Worm: The Impact of Training in Retail By Hinerasky, Christiane; Fahr, René
  11. Work-Related Health in Europe: Are Older Workers More at Risk? By Jones, Melanie K.; Latreille, Paul L.; Sloane, Peter J.; Staneva, Anita V.
  12. Higher Education Expansion, Human Capital Externalities and Wages: Italian Evidence within Occupation By Giulio Bosio; Chiara Noè
  13. Lies and Biased Evaluation : A Real-Effort Experiment By Julie Rosaz; Marie-Claire Villeval
  14. Is Mass Higher Education Working? An Update and a Reflection on the Sustainability of Higher Education Expansion in Portugal By Hugo Figueiredo; Pedro Teixeira; Jill Rubery
  15. Educational Scores: How Does Russia Fare? By Amini, Chiara; Commander, Simon
  16. Talking about the Pigou Paradox: Socio-Educational Background and Educational Outcomes of AlmaLaurea By Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Pastore, Francesco
  17. Working together: theories and thoughts on collaborative capital. By Emmerik, Hetty van
  18. The estimation of Human Capital in structural models with flexible specification By Pietro Giorgio Lovaglio; Giuseppe Folloni
  19. Effective Tax and Subsidy Rates on Human Capital in Canada By John B. Burbidge; Kirk A. Collins; James B. Davies; Lonnie Magee
  20. Why do Students Migrate? Where do they Migrate to? By Elise Brezis; Ariel Soueri
  21. Delegation and Motivation By Lukas ANGST; Karol Jan BOROWIECKI
  22. Personnel policies in the European firms: some evidence of the existing model(s) and the potential role of Corporate Universities. By Giulio Pedrini
  23. The Old Boy Network: Gender Differences in the Impact of Social Networks on Remuneration in Top Executive Jobs By Lalanne, Marie; Seabright, Paul
  24. How are wages set in Beijing By José De Sousa; Sandra Poncet
  25. Piecework versus merit pay: a Mean Fi eld Game approach to academic behavior By Damien Besancenot; Jean-Michel Courtault; Khaled El Dika
  26. Why Ex(Im)porters Pay More: Evidence from Matched Firm-Worker Panels By Martins, Pedro S.; Opromolla, Luca David
  27. Allocation criteria under task performance: the gendered preference for protection By Leonardo Becchetti; Giacomo Degli Antoni; Stefania Ottone; Nazaria Solferino

  1. By: Beatrice Brunner; Andreas Kuhn
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of labor market entry conditions on wages for male individuals first entering the Austrian labor market between 1978 and 2000. We find a large negative effect of unfavorable entry conditions on starting wages as well as a sizeable negative long-run effect. Specifically, we estimate that a one percentage point increase in the initial local unemployment rate is associated with an approximate shortfall in lifetime earnings of 6.5%. We also show that bad entry conditions are associated with lower quality of a worker's first job and that initial wage shortfalls associated with bad entry conditions only partially evaporate upon involuntary job change. These and additional findings support the view that initial job assignment, in combination with accumulation of occupation or industry-specific human capital while on this first job, plays a key role in generating the observed wage persistencies.
    Keywords: initial labor market conditions, endogenous labor market entry, initial job assignment, specific human capital
    JEL: E3 J2 J3 J6 M5
    Date: 2010–12
  2. 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
  3. By: Bart COCKX (Sherppa, Ghent University, Belgium; UCLouvain (IRES), Louvain-la- Neuve; IZA, Bonn and CESIfo, Munich); Matteo PICCHIO (CentER, ReflecT, and Department of Economics, Tilburg University,Tilburg, The Netherlands and IZA, Bonn)
    Abstract: This study investigates whether and to what extent further unemployment experience for youths who are already long-term unemployed imposes a penalty on subsequent labor market outcomes. We propose a flexible method for analyzing the effect on wages aside of transitions from unemployment and employment within a multivariate duration model that controls for selection on observables and unobservables. We find that prolonging unemployment drastically decreases the chances of finding employment, but hardly affects the quality of subsequent employment. The analysis suggests that negative duration dependence in the job finding rate is induced by negative signaling and not by human capital depreciation.
    Keywords: scarring effect of unemployment duration, employment quality, wage in multivariate duration model, selectivity
    JEL: C33 C41 J62 J64
    Date: 2011–08–18
  4. By: Bos, Frits
    Abstract: The official national accounts statistics do not show the role of human capital in the national economy. A set of satellite tables supplementing the standard national accounts statistics could serve this data need. In this satellite account, expenditure on education and training are recorded as human capital formation. This includes not only the expenditure on primary, secondary and tertiary education, but also expenditure on training and courses by employers and the earnings foregone by students. Consumption of human capital is allocated to various persons and industries as a charge on their income; it is not part of final consumption expenditure. The satellite shows more comprehensively than OECD Education at a Glance who pays for human capital formation. It also shows how education and training are employed in the national economy. In line with calculations of private and social rates of return, taxes and subsides on labour income and the relative prices of various types of labour (high-skilled, medium-skilled, low-skilled) are also shown. Links could be made with labour accounts broken-down by level of education, productivity and growth accounts and tables on expenditure by function of government, households and corporations. A simple decomposition analysis can show the role of demography and participation rates in the development of public expenditure on education. The satellite could be regarded as a macroeconomic framework supplementing the OECD-statistic Education at a Glance.
    Keywords: Human capital; education; economic growth; public expenditure on education; national accounts satellite; statistics on education
    JEL: I20 C82 O15 E01 H52
    Date: 2011
  5. By: Chris Robinson (University of Western Ontario)
    Abstract: Measures of occupation distance based on underlying skill portfolios are constructed and used to contrast involuntary and total mobility. One component of total occupational mobility is voluntary mobility, including moves to higher job offers using the same skills, as well as promotions that may reflect augmented skills. These are not sources of specific human capital loss. By contrast, the involuntary mobility component due to plant closure involves a higher incidence of loss of specific capital. The evidence indicates that a decreasing fraction of occupation switches involve significant skill portfolio switches: the mean distance in involuntary occupational mobility declines significantly over time. Wage losses following displacement are strongly related to distance. This is reflected in a marked downward shift in the skill portfolio for involuntary occupation switchers. By contrast, the direction of the skill portfolio change in total mobility shows a neutral or modest upward pattern, suggesting limited specific human capital loss from voluntary occupational mobility.
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2011
  6. By: Peter Kuhn (Department of Economics, University of California - University of California, Santa Barbara); Marie-Claire Villeval (GATE Lyon Saint-Etienne - Groupe d'analyse et de théorie économique - CNRS : UMR5824 - Université Lumière - Lyon II - École Normale Supérieure de Lyon)
    Abstract: Are women disproportionately attracted to work environments where cooperation rather than competition is rewarded? This paper reports the results of a real-effort experiment in which participants choose between an individual compensation scheme and a team-based payment scheme. We find that women are more likely than men to select team-based compensation in our baseline treatment, but women and men join teams with equal frequency when we add an efficiency advantage to team production. Using a simple structural discrete choice framework to reconcile these facts, we show that three elements can account for the observed patterns in the team-entry gender gap: (1) a gender gap in confidence in others (i.e. women are less pessimistic about their prospective teammates' relative ability), (2) a greater responsiveness among men to instrumental reasons for joining teams, and (3) a greater "pure" preference for working in a team environment among women.
    Keywords: Gender; cooperation; self-selection; confidence; experiment
    Date: 2011
  7. By: Raouf Boucekkine (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579); Blanca Martínez (Fundamentos del Análisis Económico - Universidad Complutense de Madrid); Ramon Ruiz-Tamarit (Department of Economic Analysis - Universitat de València - Universitat de Valeencia)
    Abstract: We study the impact of demographic change on economic short and long-term dynamics in an enlarged Lucas-Uzawa model with intratemporal altruism. Demographics are summarized by population growth rate and initial size. In contrast to the existing literature, the long-run level effects of demographic changes, i.e. their impact on the levels of variables along the balanced growth paths, are deeply characterized in addition to the more standard growth effects. It is shown that the level effect of population growth is a priori ambiguous due to the interaction of three causation mechanisms, a standard one (dilution) and two non-standard, featuring in particular the transmission of demographic shocks into human capital accumulation. Overall, the sign of the level effect of population growth depends on preference and technology parameters, and on the initial conditions as well. In contrast, we prove that the long-run level effect of population size on per capita income is negative while its growth effect is zero. Finally, we show that the model is able to replicate complicated time relationships between economic and demographic changes. In particular, it entails a negative effect of population growth on per capita income, which dominates in the initial periods, and a positive effect which restores a positive correlation between population growth and economic performance in the long-run.
    Keywords: Human Capital; Population Growth; Population Size; Endogenous Growth; Level Effect; Growth Effect
    Date: 2011–10–17
  8. By: Rosa Bernardini Papalia (Department of Statistics, University of Bologna); Silvia Bertarelli (Department of Economics Institutions and Territory , University of Ferrara); Carlo Filippucci (Department of Statistics, University of Bologna)
    Abstract: In this paper, we study the relationship between the level of development of an economy and returns to different levels of education for the panel of OECD countries over the 1965-2004 period, in a club convergence framework. The connection between growth and human capital measures of primary, secondary and tertiary education in a multiple-club spatial convergence model with non linearities and spatial dependence is considered. By decomposing total schooling into its three constituent parts, we are able to evaluate their impact on regional growth without imposing homogeneous returns from each level of education. We contribute to the identification of two regimes for OECD countries, each characterized by different returns on physical and human capital accumulation and technological spillovers. We also find that the non-monotonic pattern of convergence is strongly influenced by human capital stocks and technology diffusion process is stronger in the club less close to the technological frontier.
    Date: 2011–09
  9. By: Isabelle Vialle (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Luis Santos-Pinto (Faculty of Business and Economics, University of Lausanne, Internef 535, CH-1015, Lausanne, Switzerland); Jean-Louis Rullière (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: We use a laboratory experiment to study how perceptions of skill influence teamwork. Our design is based on Gervais and Goldstein (2007) theory of teams. Team output is increasing in skill and in effort, skill and effort are complements, and workers’ effort choices are complements. An overconfident agent thinks that his skill is higher than it actually is. We find that the presence of overconfi-dent workers in teams is beneficial for firms since it raises effort provision and team output. We also find that overconfidence leads to a Pareto improvement in workers’ payoffs. In contrast, underconfidence is detrimental to firms as well as workers.
    Keywords: Teamwork; Self-Confidence, Laboratory Experiment
    JEL: D81 C91
    Date: 2011
  10. By: Hinerasky, Christiane (University of Paderborn); Fahr, René (University of Paderborn)
    Abstract: We econometrically evaluate the performance effects of a six month e-learning programme in a large retail chain with monthly data on sales revenue, for four years using panel regressions. Participants in early cohorts show positive performance effects during training periods that depreciate afterwards. We conclude that offering training on a voluntary basis leads participants with the highest expected idiosyncratic gains and the highest talent to self-select into early participation. As performance effects already unfold during training, our findings put forward the importance of continuous training with close coaching unlike single training incidences.
    Keywords: evaluation, company training, e-learning, average treatment effect, average treatment effect on the treated, selection effect, continuous learning, continuous vocational training
    JEL: C31 C33 J24 M53
    Date: 2011–10
  11. By: Jones, Melanie K. (Swansea University); Latreille, Paul L. (Swansea University); Sloane, Peter J. (Swansea University); Staneva, Anita V. (Swansea University)
    Abstract: This paper uses the fourth European Working Conditions Survey (2005) to address the impact of age on work-related self-reported health outcomes. More specifically, the paper examines whether older workers differ significantly from younger workers regarding their job-related health risk perception, mental and physical health, sickness absence, probability of reporting injury and fatigue. Accounting for the 'healthy worker effect', or sample selection – in so far as unhealthy workers are likely to exit the labour force – we find that as a group, those aged 55-65 years are more 'vulnerable' than younger workers: they are more likely to perceive work-related health and safety risks, and to report mental, physical and fatigue health problems. As previously shown, older workers are more likely to report work-related absence.
    Keywords: endogeneity, fatigue, absence, physical health, mental health, healthy worker selection effect
    JEL: I0 J28 J81 J20
    Date: 2011–10
  12. By: Giulio Bosio (University of Milan); Chiara Noè (University of Cergy-Pointoise)
    Abstract: The Italian system of higher education has recently experienced a process of radical transformation. The so-called 3+2 university reform reflects a big increase in the supply of college graduates that has attracted the attention of policy makers and fostered the debate on the size of human capital externalities. Using the 2009 Italian Labour Force Survey and incorporating a measure of graduate density within each occupation, in this article, we explore whether the social returns to education exceeds the private return and less educated workers gain more than college educated workers from spillovers associated with higher college share in their relative occupation. The OLS results clearly indicate that increases in graduate density have positive effects on wages and that the effect is larger for less educated workers, also controlling for potential confounding factors. However, the concentration of college workers across occupations is such that we may have a potential endogeneity problem. In order to recover a causal interpretation and to isolate the effect of graduate density, we employ an IV strategy exploiting the lagged demographic and occupational structure and the variation in the introduction of 3+2 courses at regional level. Merely, IV estimates largely indicate that the size of spillovers is significantly increased with respect to standard OLS results. Indeed, we estimate that a 1% increase in the college share within occupation raises wages by 0.9-1.3% for male and female, respectively. The effect is further larger for less educated workers.
    Date: 2011–09
  13. By: Julie Rosaz (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France); Marie-Claire Villeval (Université de Lyon, Lyon, F-69007, France ; CNRS, GATE Lyon St Etienne,F-69130 Ecully, France)
    Abstract: This paper presents the results of a laboratory experiment in which workers perform a real-effort task and supervisors report the workers’ performance to the experimenter. The report is non verifiable and determines the earnings of both the supervisor and the worker. We find that not all the supervisors, but at least one third of them bias their report. Both selfish black lies (increasing the supervisor’s earnings while decreasing the worker’s payoff) and Pareto white lies (increasing the earnings of both) according to Erat and Gneezy (2009)’s terminology are frequent. In contrast, spiteful black lies (decreasing the earnings of both) and altruistic white lies (increasing the earnings of workers but decreasing those of the supervisor) are almost non-existent. The supervisors’ second-order beliefs and their decision to lie are highly correlated, suggesting that guilt aversion plays a role.
    Keywords: lies, deception, self-image, guilt aversion, lie-aversion, evaluation, experiments
    JEL: C91 D82 M52
    Date: 2011
  14. By: Hugo Figueiredo (Department of Social, Political Sciences and Law, University of Aveiro CIPES – Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies); Pedro Teixeira (Centre for Research in Higher Education Policies-CIPES); Jill Rubery (Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester)
    Abstract: The appeal of HE expansion has been particularly significant in the case of Portugal, whose levels of qualification of the labour force have been historically low. Over the last two decades the country has experience a massive expansion of its higher education system and the numbers of students enrolled and rates of enrolment have multiplied more than four times. This paper focus on the sustainability of this trend of higher education (HE) expansion in Portugal and attempts to update and rebalance a debate that is too often carried out exclusively from a supply-side perspective. The paper develops an empirical framework which incorporates the diversity of jobs currently carried out by university graduates and their changing skill requirements but that also provides a useful benchmark to refer to growing expectations mismatches among graduates. Using a new typology of graduate-level jobs and staff logs data collected annually by the Portuguese Government for private sector employees, the paper analyses the increasing dispersion of graduates’ relative earnings and relates this trend to the increasing diversification of their jobs. The paper also tests more directly the impact of over-education (relative to the graduate jobs’ current skill requirements) and finds that the relative penalty associated with this condition has increased during the 1995-2005 period. The paper then questions the extent to which Portugal can continue to be portrayed as a straightforward success story regarding the massification of HE and considers the implications regarding political and social support for continuing expansion in the system.
    Keywords: human capital; higher education massification; demand for graduates; over-education; inequality
    Date: 2011–09
  15. By: Amini, Chiara (University College London); Commander, Simon (EBRD, London)
    Abstract: This paper uses two large multi-country datasets on educational scores – PISA and TIMSS – to examine the performance of Russia in comparative light as well as the factors associated with differences in educational outcomes in Russia. Despite the perception of a positive educational legacy, Russian scores are not stellar and have mostly deteriorated. Using an education production function, we distinguish between individual and family background factors and those relating to the school and institutional environment. We use pooled data, as well as cross sectional evidence, to look at the variation across countries before looking at within-country variation in Russia. We find – both in the cross-country estimates as also those using just Russia data – that a number of individual and family variables in particular, such as parental educational levels, are robustly associated with better educational outcomes. Institutional variables also matter – notably student-teacher ratios and indicators of school autonomy – but there are also some clear particularities in the Russian case.
    Keywords: human capital, PISA
    JEL: H5 I21 I28 J24 O15 P5
    Date: 2011–10
  16. By: Caroleo, Floro Ernesto (University of Naples, Parthenope); Pastore, Francesco (University of Naples II)
    Abstract: Italy has an immobile social structure. At the heart of this immobility is the educational system, with its high direct, but especially indirect cost, due to the extremely long time necessary to get a degree and to complete the subsequent school-to-work transition. Such cost prevents the educational system from reallocating the best opportunities to all talented young people and from altering the "typical" market mechanism of intergenerational transfer of human capital and social status. About ten years after the Bologna declaration and the "3+2" reform of the university system, AlmaLaurea data relative to 2008 shows a framework not much different from that of 2000. This is apparent by looking at the socio-educational background of university graduates. Parents' educational level seems to be the main determinant of the probability to get a university degree and to get it with the highest possible grade. As previous studies have also shown, the effect of the socio-educational background on children success at the university is not direct, but through the high school track. In fact, although any secondary high school gives access to the university, nonetheless lyceums provide students with far higher quality of education than technical and professional schools.
    Keywords: intergenerational transfers, human capital, social status, Bologna declaration, "3+2" university reform, AlmaLaurea, Italy
    JEL: H52 I23 J13 J24
    Date: 2011–10
  17. By: Emmerik, Hetty van (Maastricht University)
    Date: 2011
  18. By: Pietro Giorgio Lovaglio (Dept. of Quantitative Methods, University of Bicocca-Milan); Giuseppe Folloni (Department of Economics, University of Trento)
    Abstract: The present paper focuses on statistical models for estimating Human Capital (HC) at disaggregated level (worker, household, graduates). The more recent literature on HC as a latent variable states that HC can be reasonably considered a broader multi-dimensional non-observable construct, depending on several and interrelate causes, and indirectly measured by many observed indicators. In this perspective, latent variable models have been assuming a prominent role in the social science literature for the study of the interrelationships among phenomena. However, traditional estimation methods are prone to different limitations, as stringent distributional assumptions, improper solutions, and factor score indeterminacy for Covariance Structure Analysis and the lack of a global optimization procedure for the Partial Least Squares approach. To avoid these limitations, new approaches to structural equation modelling, based on Component Analysis, which estimates latent variables as exact linear combinations of observed variables minimizing a single criterion, were proposed in literature. However, these methods are limited to model particular types of relationship among sets of variables. In this paper, we propose a class of models in such a way that it enables to specify and fit a variety of relationships among latent variables and endogenous indicators. Specifically, we extend this new class of models to allow for covariate effects on the endogenous indicators. Finally, an application aimed to measure, in a realistic structural model, the causal impact of formal Human capital (HC), accumulated during Higher education, on the initial earnings for University of Milan (Italy) graduates is illustrated.
    Date: 2011–09
  19. By: John B. Burbidge (University of Waterloo); Kirk A. Collins (St. Francis Xavier University); James B. Davies (University of Western Ontario); Lonnie Magee (McMaster University)
    Abstract: Effective tax and subsidy rates (ETRs and ESRs) on human capital investment via postsecondary education are estimated for Canada in the years 2000 and 2006. The flattening of the federal personal income tax structure in 2001 substantially reduced the tax disincentive for investment in human capital. Effective subsidy rates also declined as public spending did not keep pace with rising tuition fees. The change on the tax side was strong enough to dominate the subsidy reduction according to our main results, but disaggregation shows that this result did not hold in all cases. Results are shown for College, Master’s, and PhD programs, in addition to Bachelor’s degrees. They are also broken down by gender, and are shown for the 25th and 75th percentiles as well as the median. Provincial detail and 1997 results are provided in the case of Bachelor’s graduates.
    Date: 2011
  20. By: Elise Brezis (Azrieli Center for Economic Policy (ACEP), Bar-Ilan University); Ariel Soueri (Department of Economics, Bar-Ilan University; Ministry of Finance)
    Abstract: The flow of students has grown very rapidly these last decades, and in some regions, has become twice as important as the flows of those seeking work. The purpose of this study is to explore the elements affecting students’ decision on migration. The two main elements affecting migration are wages, and quality of education. It should be stressed that the countries with the highest-quality education are not necessarily those with high wages. Therefore there is a need to explore whether it is quality of higher education or wage levels that determine the direction of student flows. First, we develop a simple two-stage model relating decisions on educational choices to those on job search. Our model shows that student migration is towards countries with the highest quality of higher education. In the second part of this study, we empirically investigate our theoretical model using a panel data on European OECD countries. We use the Bologna process to outline which of the elements, wages or educational quality, determines the direction of flows. We find strong evidence of concentration of students in countries with high-quality education and not in high-wage countries.
    Keywords: Migration, Human capital, Students, higher education, Bologna process, Brain drain.
    JEL: F22 I23 J24
    Date: 2011–09
  21. By: Lukas ANGST (Department of Economics, University of Zurich); Karol Jan BOROWIECKI (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: In this article we study the determinants of decision rights transfer and its effects on the motivation of an agent. The study is based on a laboratory experiment conducted on 130 subjects playing an innovative principal-agent game. Interestingly, the results show that agents do not favour a delegation and a decision is considered rather burdensome. Although the experiment could not give support for the behavioural hypothesis of higher effort provided by participants who receive choice subsequently, the survey illuminates the interaction between delegation motives, effort motivators, goals and other perceptions of the agents.
    Keywords: organizational behavior, incentives, experiments and contracts
    JEL: C92 D83 D23
    Date: 2011–10
  22. By: Giulio Pedrini (Department of Economics, University of Bologna; SDIC, School of Innovation Development and Change, Bologna)
    Abstract: This study deals with the attitude of European firms towards personnel policies analysed on a national basis. Provided the relevance of Human Resources (HR) practices in terms of the internal organisation of knowledge of the firm, we assess the main characteristic of personnel policies in 12 European countries both in terms of HR department position within the firm and in terms of human capital development practices. Not only is the issue significant in terms of Human Resource Management but also in terms of the debate on the role of the institutions in determining personnel policies, and notably in terms of the debate on the "varieties of capitalism”. For this purpose the paper develops a cluster analysis among 16 European countries showing the possible influence of institutional models on personnel policies. The same analysis is also developed for intertemporal comparative purposes. The second part of the paper analysis relates personnel policies to the phenomenon of Corporate Universities (CU), being they intended as a vehicle of firms’ capability to react to organisational and technological change. Within the complex relationship between firm’s organization and knowledge CU may in fact represent a consistent way to keep HR departments and firms’ strategies tightly connected, possibly assuming a systemic vision of the firm open to employees and in some cases to other stakeholders. The main features of European Corporate Universities will thus be acknowledged by looking at their main characteristics, with particular reference to their relation with HR departments and to the external factors that have contributed to their development. The paper uses theoretical tools provided by economic literature on training, human capital and knowledge management, combining them with a descriptive analysis of the empirical evidence coming from data on both Corporate Universities and firms’ personnel policy at European level. In particular data on firms’ personnel policy will come from the survey performed in 2005 by Cranet, the largest academic research network dedicated to a comparative analysis of developments in Human Resource Management in public and private organisations. Such data will be integrated by surveys on firms’ training practices at European level and by the (limited) empirical literature dealing with European Corporate Universities.
    Date: 2011–09
  23. By: Lalanne, Marie; Seabright, Paul
    Abstract: Using an original dataset describing the career history of some 16,000 senior executives and members of the non-executive board of US, UK, French and German companies, we investigate gender differences in the use of social networks and their impact on earnings. There is a large gender wage gap: women (who make up 8.8% of our sample) earned average salaries of $168,000 in 2008, only 70% of the average $241,000 earned by men. This is not due to differences in age, experience or education levels. Women are more likely than men to be non-executives, whose salaries are lower; nevertheless, a substantial gender gap still exists among executives. We construct measures of the number of currently influential people each individual has encountered previously in his or her career. We find that executive men's salaries are an increasing function of the number of such individuals they have encountered in the past while women's are not. Controlling for this discrepancy, there is no longer a significant gender gap among executives. These findings are robust to the use of different years, to the use of salaried versus non-salaried remuneration, and to the use of panel estimation to control rigorously for unobserved individual heterogeneity. In contrast to executives, the salaries of non-executive board members do not display a significant gender wage gap, nor any gender difference in the effectiveness with which men and women leverage their links into salaries. This suggests that adoption of gender quotas for board membership, as has been enacted or proposed recently in several European countries, is unlikely to reduce the gender gap in earnings so long as such quotas do not distinguish between executive and non-executive board members.
    Keywords: executive compensation; gender wage gap; social networks
    JEL: A14 J16 J31 J33
    Date: 2011–10
  24. By: José De Sousa (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I); Sandra Poncet (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS : UMR8174 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I)
    Abstract: China's export performance over the past fifteen years has been phenomenal. Is this performance going to last? Wages are rising rapidly but a population in excess of one billion represents a large reservoir of labor. Firms in export-intensive provinces may draw on this reservoir to increase competition in their labor market and keep wages low for many years to come. We develop a wage equation from a New Economic Geography model to capture the upward pressure from national and international demand and downward pressure from migration. Using panel data at the province level, we find that migration has moderately slowed down Chinese wage increase over the period 1995-2007.
    Keywords: Wage, China
    Date: 2011
  25. By: Damien Besancenot (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII - CNRS : UMR7234); Jean-Michel Courtault (CEPN - Centre d'Economie de l'Université Paris Nord - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII - CNRS : UMR7234); Khaled El Dika (LAGA - Laboratoire d'Analyse, Géométrie et Applications - CNRS : UMR7539 - Université Paris-Nord - Paris XIII)
    Abstract: This paper applies the Mean Fi eld Game approach pioneered by Lasry and Lions (2007) to the analysis of the researchers' academic productivity. It provides a theoretical motivation for the stability of the universaly observed Lotka's law. It shows that a remuneration scheme taking into account the researchers rank with respect to the academic resume can induce a larger number of researchers to overtake a minimal production standard. It thus appears as superior to piecework remuneration.
    Keywords: Mean Field Game, Academic production, incentives, Lotka's law.
    Date: 2011–10–13
  26. By: Martins, Pedro S. (Queen Mary, University of London); Opromolla, Luca David (Banco de Portugal)
    Abstract: We investigate the relationship between exporting, importing, and wage premia using a rich matched employer-employee data set. We improve on the previous literature (i) by using a new methodology to quantify the contribution of an extensive set of worker- and firm-level observable and unobservable characteristics to the wage gap, and (ii) by controlling for the import as well as the export activity of the firm. These two innovations allow us to avoid large biases that characterized the previous literature. A robust result is that the hiring policy of exporters is quite different than the one of importers. While firm size and sales are, to different extents, important components of the wage gap both for exporters and importers, importers hire workers that are overwhelmingly more able than the average. Workers at exporting firms, on the contrary, are no different in terms of unobserved time-invariant characteristics. Our analysis provides a useful guidance for recent theories that aim at explaining participation both in export and import markets and at including non-neoclassical labor market features into trade models.
    Keywords: globalization, export, import, wage differentials
    JEL: F16 J31 F15
    Date: 2011–10
  27. By: Leonardo Becchetti (Faculty of Economics, University of Rome "Tor Vergata"); Giacomo Degli Antoni (University of Milano - Bicocca); Stefania Ottone (University of Milano - Bicocca); Nazaria Solferino (University of Calabria-Unical)
    Abstract: We device a randomized experiment with task performance in which players directly decide allocation criteria (with/without) veil of ignorance on payoff distribution under different criteria in a stakeholder/spectator position. Our main result is a strong and significant gender effect: women choose significantly more protection (that is, they choose criteria in which a part or all the total sum of money that must be allocated among participants is equally distributed) before (but not after) the removal of the veil of ignorance. They also reveal less overconfidence and significantly higher civicness and inequality aversion in ex post questionnaire responses, even though such differences are not enough to fully capture our main result. The puzzle when interpreting it is that the gendered preference for protection exists not only for stakeholders but also for spectators while it disappears for both once we remove the veil of ignorance. This makes it impossible to explain it exclusively with risk or competition aversion.
    Keywords: Distributive Justice; Gender Effects; Risk Aversion; Competition Aversion; Veil of Ignorance.
    JEL: C91 D63 J16
    Date: 2011–10–24

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