nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2012‒03‒14
ten papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universita' di Bologna

  1. The co-evolution of organizational performance and emotional contagion By Cowan, Robin; Jonard, Nicolas; Weehuizen, Rifka
  2. Organizational Behavior and Human Resources Management for Public to Private Knowledge Transfer: An Analytic Review of the Literature By Branco Ponomariov; Craig Boardman
  3. Creative professionals and high-skilled agents: Polarization of employment growth? By Wedemeier, Jan
  4. Socio-demographic characteristics and human capital of the German federal government's members By Scharfenkamp, Katrin; Dilger, Alexander
  5. Long-term Hardship in the Labor Market By John Schmitt; Janelle Jones
  6. Labour Market Penalties of Mothers: the Role of Reconciliation Policies By Lia Pacelli; Silvia Pasqua; Claudia Villosio
  7. The Formal Sector Wage Premium and Firm Size for Self-employed Workers By Olivier Bargain; Eliane El Badaoui; Prudence Kwenda; Eric Strobl; Frank Walsh
  8. The Evolution of Education: A Macroeconomic Analysis By Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
  9. Optimal Seedings in Elimination Tournaments Revisited By Matthias Kräkel
  10. Education, cognitive skills and earnings of males and females By Buchner Charlotte; Smits Wendy; Velden Rolf van der

  1. By: Cowan, Robin (UNU-MERIT, and SBE, Maastricht University); Jonard, Nicolas (University of Luxemburg); Weehuizen, Rifka (UNU-MERIT)
    Abstract: In this paper we model interactions between organizational structures, job stress, emotional contagion and organization performance. An organization is modelled as solving problems or performing tasks. Tasks enter the organization and can be addressed by a subset of its members. Organization structure determines which agents can address which problems. Members address the task by applying energy to it. An agent's available energy is determined by his stress level, which is in turn determined by his workload. However agents' stress levels are moderated by social interactions that take place in parallel to the work environment. Organizations can be structured as a group of specialized individuals or as hierarchies of varying depths. We explore the effects of organizational structure and social interactions on performance.
    Keywords: stress, emotional contagion, social networks, organization structure, productivity
    JEL: L22 L25 M14 M54 D23
    Date: 2012
  2. By: Branco Ponomariov; Craig Boardman
    Abstract: This paper reviews the current academic thinking on knowledge transfer channels between universities and private industry, from a human resource perspective. It also offers a general framework for “re-organising” the literature, so as to identify gaps in the understanding of organisational behavior and human resource management for university-industry knowledge transfer. The review highlights that knowledge transfer channels with highest “relational intensity” are also most valued by industry, and that most knowledge transfer channels are not currently institutionalized or formalized. It concludes that knowledge transfer between universities and industry is characterized by important management challenges, which require an understanding of the extent and nature of individuals’ involvement. However, the existing literature emphasises the outcomes rather than processes of knowledge transfer. Future research looking at knowledge transfer processes at the individual and organizational level of analysis would provide valuable information for better policy-making.<P>Comportement des organisations et gestion des ressources humaines dans le cadre des transferts de connaissances du public vers le privé : Revue analytique de littérature<BR>Ce document donne un état des lieux de la réflexion universitaire sur les différents canaux utilisés pour les transferts de connaissances entre les universités et l’industrie, sous l’angle des ressources humaines. Il propose également un cadre général pour « réorganiser » la littérature existante afin de mettre en évidence les points d’ombre qui subsistent quant au comportement des organisations et à la gestion des ressources humaines dans le cadre des transferts de connaissances du monde universitaire vers l’industrie. L’étude souligne que les canaux de transfert de connaissances caractérisés par une forte « intensité relationnelle » sont aussi les mieux appréciés par l’industrie, et que la plupart des canaux de transfert de connaissances ne sont actuellement pas officialisés ou formalisés. Elle conclut que les transferts de connaissances posent des problèmes en termes de management, qui requièrent une meilleure compréhension de la nature et de la portée de l’engagement des individus. Or, la littérature existante est focalisée sur les résultats et non sur les processus de transfert de connaissances. Des recherches analysant les processus de transferts de connaissances aux niveaux individuel et organisationnel permettraient de produire des informations utiles pour l’élaboration des politiques.
    Date: 2012–03–05
  3. By: Wedemeier, Jan
    Abstract: The creative sector is frequently regarded as one of the driving forces of total employment growth. Empirical studies suggest that the clustering of human capital might result in the polarization of employment growth. Since the creative sector's definition is motivated from the insights of the economics of human capital, this effect might also be relevant to the creative sector. Following these ideas, the objective of the present paper is to analyze the impact of the creative sector on total employment and on creative sector's employment growth in Western Germany's regions from 1977 to 2004. For the analysis, the definitions of the creative sector follow a technologically and culturally oriented definition and, alternatively, Florida's creative class (2002). These approaches focusing on human capital are contrasted with a skill-based approach. Using a fixed-effects panel model with time lags, I find evidence that the creative sector fosters the regional growth rate of total employment. The results show, moreover, that an initially large share of regional creative professionals pushes further the regional concentration of those professions in agglomerated regions. Driving force for the concentration of creative professionals are local amenities, measured by bohemians, and it is assumed that knowledge spillovers - possibly accelerated by the diversified composition of employment - contribute to this polarization. These results are as well confirmed for the high-skilled agents. --
    Keywords: regional employment growth,creative sector,human capital,bohemians,externalities
    JEL: J21 J24 R11 Z1
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Scharfenkamp, Katrin; Dilger, Alexander
    Abstract: Currently, background, qualification and training of German top politicians are widely discussed by scholars and media. This paper provides new insights to this discussion by analysing significant differences between the chancellors, vice chancellors as well as ministers of the inner residual cabinets of the German federal governments between 1949 and 2009 with respect to their socio-demographic backgrounds and educational, economic and political human capital. Applications of different statistical methods reveal that the ministers of the inner cabinet habe the most advantageous social background and the best education. Vice chancellors score highest with regard to their economic human capital, measured here by board seats before their current offices. The average tenure in the federal government as well as the expertise in the actual headed department is highest for chancellors. -- Aktuell werden die Herkunft, Qualifikation und Bildung deutscher Spitzenpolitiker rege von Wissenschaftlern und Medien diskutiert. Dieses Papier trägt zu dieser Diskussion bei, indem signifikante Unterschiede hinsichtlich soziodemographischer Eigenschaften und (hoch)schulischen, ökonomischen sowie politischen Humankapitals zwischen den Gruppen Kanzler, Vizekanzler und Ministern des inneren und äußeren Kabinetts für alle Kabinette von 1949 bis einschließlich 2009 analysiert werden. Die Anwendung verschiedener statistischer Methoden zeigt, dass die Minister des inneren Kabinetts über den vorteilhaftesten sozialen Hintergrund und die beste Bildung verfügen. Vizekanzler erreichen den höchsten Grad an ökonomischem Humankapital, gemessen in Vorstands- und Aufsichtsratsmandaten vor dem betreffenden Regierungsamt. Die durchschnittliche Amtszeit in der Bundesregierung und im derzeitigen Amt ist bei Bundeskanzlern am längsten.
    JEL: C81 J24 L88 M53 O52
    Date: 2012
  5. By: John Schmitt; Janelle Jones
    Abstract: In this paper, we attempt to paint a demographic portrait of long-term hardship in the labor market. We display various measures of long-term hardship by race and gender, education, and age. In addition to the conventional long-term unemployment rate, we also show a broader measure that captures further dimensions of long-term hardship. This additional measure is the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s “U-6” alternative unemployment rate, which adds “discouraged” workers, the “marginally attached,” and workers who are “part-time for economic reasons” to the official unemployment rate.
    Keywords: unemployment, long-term unemployment, discouraged workers, marginally attached workers, part time for economic reasons
    JEL: J J0 J01 J6 J64
    Date: 2012–03
  6. By: Lia Pacelli; Silvia Pasqua; Claudia Villosio
    Abstract: A key issue in increasing women’s participation in productive activities is the possibility of achieving a high work-life balance, both in terms of personal wellbeing and in terms of fair career prospects. The crucial event that challenges any level of work-life balance working women achieve is motherhood. We analyse how motherhood affects women's working career, both in terms of participation and in terms of wages, compared to “non-mothers”. The country chosen for the analysis is Italy, a paradigmatic example of low participation rate, scant childcare, high wage inequality and a cultural environment that considers childcare a predominantly “female affair”. While most of the literature focuses either on wages or on participation, we consider both dimensions in a country where female participation is low, thus contributing to filling the gap in the literature of studies of this kind referred to southern European countries. We confirm that the probability of leaving employment significantly increases for new mothers (career-break job penalty); however, this is mitigated by higher job quality and human capital endowment, and by childcare accessibility. Crucially, the availability of part-time jobs reduces the probability of mothers moving out of the labour force. Furthermore, women not leaving employment after becoming mothers face a decrease in wage levels and growth compared to non-mothers, and there are no signs of this gap closing five years after childbirth (family wage gap). Again, part-time employment plays a crucial role, as the family wage gap penalty emerges only among women working full-time both before and after childbirth; a part-time job over the whole period or even only after childbirth prevents any wage gap from opening up between such working mothers and non-mothers. A decisive fact in this context is that in Italy part-time jobs are (scant but) well paid and protected, unlike most other countries.
    Keywords: motherhood, part-time jobs, wage penalty, working career, reconciliation policies
    JEL: J13 J31
    Date: 2012
  7. By: Olivier Bargain (Aix-Marseille School of Economics); Eliane El Badaoui (EconomiX - University Paris 10); Prudence Kwenda (University College Dublin); Eric Strobl (Ecole Polytechnique Paris); Frank Walsh (University College Dublin)
    Abstract: We develop a model where workers may enter self-employment or search for jobs as employees and where there is heterogeneity across workers’ managerial ability. Workers with higher skills will manage larger firms while workers with low managerial ability will run smaller firms and will be in self-employment only when they cannot find a salaried job. For these workers self-employment is a secondary/informal form of employment. The Burdett and Mortensen (1998) equilibrium search model is used for illustration as a special case of our more general framework. Empirical evidence from Mexico is provided and demonstrates that firm size wage effects for employees and selfemployed workers are broadly consistent with the model.
    Keywords: Self-employment, Managerial ability, Informal sector
    Date: 2012–03–05
  8. By: Diego Restuccia; Guillaume Vandenbroucke
    Abstract: Between 1940 and 2000 there has been a substantial increase of educational attainment in the United States. What caused this trend? We develop a model of human capital accumulation that features a non-degenerate distribution of educational attainment in the population. We use this framework to assess the quantitative contribution of technological progress and changes in life expectancy in explaining the evolution of educational attainment. The model implies an increase in average years of schooling of 24 percent which is the increase observed in the data. We find that technological variables and in particular skill-biased technical change represent the most important factors in accounting for the increase in educational attainment. The strong response of schooling to changes in income is informative about the potential role of educational policy and the impact of other trends affecting lifetime income.
    Keywords: educational attainment, schooling, skill-biased technical progress, human capital
    JEL: E1 O3 O4
    Date: 2012–03–01
  9. By: Matthias Kräkel
    Abstract: The paper addresses the problem of optimally matching heterogeneous players in a two-stage two-type Lazear-Rosen tournament in which the semifinal losers are eliminated. The organizer of the tournament can either choose two homogeneous semifinals -- one between two strong players and the other one between two weak players -- or two heterogeneous semifinals, each between one strong and one weak player. I identify conditions under which the organizer is strictly better off from two homogeneous semifinals if he wants to maximize total expected effort and the strong players' win probability. This finding is contrary to both the typical procedure used in real sporting contests and previous results based on all-pay auctions and the Tullock contest. Hence, my findings point out that the optimal design of elimination tournaments crucially depends on the underlying contest-success technology.
    Keywords: Lazear-Rosen tournament, heterogeneous match, homogeneous match
    JEL: D44 D72
    Date: 2011–12
  10. By: Buchner Charlotte; Smits Wendy; Velden Rolf van der (METEOR)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between cognitive skills, measured at age 12, and earnings ofmales and females at the age of 35, conditional on their attained educational level. Employing alarge data set that combines a longitudinal school cohort survey with income data from Dutchnational tax files, our findings show that cognitive skills and specifically math skills arerewarded on the labor market, but more for females than for males. The main factor driving thisresult is that cognitive skills appear to be better predictors of schooling outcomes for malesthan for females. Once males have achieved the higher levels of education, they more often chooseprograms with high earning perspectives like economics and engineering, even if their level ofmath skills is relatively low.
    Keywords: labour economics ;
    Date: 2012

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