nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2013‒01‒12
sixteen papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
University of Cologne

  1. The dark side of team incentives: Experimental evidence on advice quality from financial service professionals By Anastasia Danilov; Torsten Biemann; Thorn Kring; Dirk Sliwka
  2. The aims of lifelong learning: Age-related effects of training on wages and job security By Lang, Julia
  3. Basel III and CEO compensation: a new regulation attempt after the crisis By Eufinger, Christian; Gill, Andrej
  4. Human potential as a factor of developing national competitiveness of Brazil, Russia, India and China By Zavyalova, E. K.; Kosheleva, S. V.
  5. Management in America By Nicholas Bloom; Erik Brynjolfsson; Lucia Foster; Ron Jarmin; Itay Saporta-Eksten; John Van Reenen
  6. Mainstreaming Innovation in Europe. Findings on Employee Innovation and Workplace Learning from Belgium By De Spiegelaere, Stan; Van Gyes , Guy; Van Hootegem, Geert
  7. A Happiness Test of Human Capital Theory By Piper, Alan T.
  8. Assessing the efficiency of HRD technologies in knowledge-intensive firms By Zavyalova, E. K.; Kosheleva, S. V.
  9. Picking Winners? The Effect of Birth Order and Migration on Parental Human Capital Investments in Pre-Modern England By Marc Klemp; Chris Minns; Patrick Wallis; Jacob Weisdorf
  10. Hidden Costs of Control in Social Groups By Wiederhold, Simon; Riener, Gerhard
  11. Cognitive skills, tasks and job mobility By Warnke, Arne Jonas; Ederer, Peer; Schuller, Philipp
  12. (Endogenous) occupational choices and job satisfaction among recent PhD recipients: evidence from Catalonia By Antonio Di Paolo
  13. Innovation and Education: Is there a 'Nerd Effect'? By Goldbach, Stefan
  14. The Production of and Market for New Physicians' Skill By Andrew J. Epstein; Sean Nicholson; David A. Asch
  15. Human Capital, Consumption, and Housing Wealth in Transition By Fidrmuc, Jarko; Senaj, Matus
  16. Human capital in Qing China: economic determinism or a history of failed opportunities? By Xu, Yi; Foldvari, Peter; Van Leeuwen, Bas

  1. By: Anastasia Danilov (University of Cologne); Torsten Biemann (University of Cologne); Thorn Kring (Steinbeis University of Berlin); Dirk Sliwka (University of Cologne)
    Abstract: In an experiment with professionals from the financial services sector, we investigate the impact of a team incentive scheme on recommendation quality of investment products when advisors benefit from advising lower quality products. Experimental results reveal that, when group affiliation is strong, worse products are recommended significantly more often under team incentives than under individual incentives.
    Keywords: deception, team incentives, professionals, financial advice, experiment
    JEL: C90 D82 J30 M52
    Date: 2012–10–15
  2. By: Lang, Julia
    Abstract: This paper reports the effects of training participation on wages and perceived job security for employees of different ages. Based on data from the German Socio-Economic Panel, results indicate that only younger workers benefit from training by an increase in wages, whereas older employees worries about losing their job are reduced. This observation can also be explained by the fact that goals of training courses are related to the age of participants. Moreover, I differentiate between workers who permanently and only occasionally participate in training. The results indicate that there seem to be decreasing marginal returns to training with respect to job security. --
    JEL: J24 J28 J31
    Date: 2012
  3. By: Eufinger, Christian; Gill, Andrej
    Abstract: The paper analyzes the interaction between an endogenous capital structure and investment decision, and the incentive scheme of bank executives. We show that the implementation of capital requirements, which are contingent on compensation schemes, drive a wedge between the interests of the shareholder and the CEO. This non-alignment can mitigate excessive risk taking. In particular, linking the amount of insured debt to the ratio of fixed and performance based salary encourages first-best outcomes. We derive empirical predictions and policy implications. --
    JEL: G28 G32 G21
    Date: 2012
  4. By: Zavyalova, E. K.; Kosheleva, S. V.
    Abstract: This paper is devoted to the issue of the role of human capital in developing national competitiveness of BRIC countries. The authors analyze the basic concepts (human capital, human potential, national competitiveness). The article puts forward a hypothesis about the interrelation between the peculiarities of human capital and national competitiveness. Relying on the widely accepted indices and using regression analysis as a tool, the authors prove the rightfulness of this hypothesis. Supplementary analysis of the dynamics of Knowledge-Based Economy Index within the period of time under study (1990 - 2009) allowed to draw a conclusion up-on the difference in the efficiency of using the human potential in the BRIC countries: despite the fact that Russia and Brazil dominate in terms of the level of human potential development and in particular concerning the level of education, they lag behind China and India which use human potential and knowledge most efficiently.
    Keywords: human capital, human potential, national competitiveness, BRIC countries,
    Date: 2012
  5. By: Nicholas Bloom; Erik Brynjolfsson; Lucia Foster; Ron Jarmin; Itay Saporta-Eksten; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: The Census Bureau recently conducted a survey of management practices in over 30,000 plants across the US, the first large-scale survey of management in America. Analyzing these data reveals several striking results. First, more structured management practices are tightly linked to better performance: establishments adopting more structured practices for performance monitoring, target setting and incentives enjoy greater productivity and profitability, higher rates of innovation and faster employment growth. Second, there is a substantial dispersion of management practices across the establishments. We find that 18% of establishments have adopted at least 75% of these more structured management practices, while 27% of establishments adopted less than 50% of these. Third, more structured management practices are more likely to be found in establishments that export, who are larger (or are part of bigger firms), and have more educated employees. Establishments in the South and Midwest have more structured practices on average than those in the Northeast and West. Finally, we find adoption of structured management practices has increased between 2005 and 2010 for surviving establishments, particularly for those practices involving data collection and analysis.
    Keywords: Management, productivity, organization
    Date: 2013–01
  6. By: De Spiegelaere, Stan; Van Gyes , Guy; Van Hootegem, Geert
    Abstract: The EU is striving for an ‘Innovative Union’. Various case studies already hinted that the involvement of various types of employees is crucial for the organisational innovativeness. Using data from a large scale Belgian employee level survey in five industries, this article focuses on the question how ‘mainstream’ innovation is in Belgian firms and how this coincides with forms of workplace learning. Innovation mainstreaming here refers to the inclusion of various occupational groups in the innovation process. Findings suggest that innovation in most sectors, is an ‘elite driven’ process with only a limited involvement of lower level employees. Moreover, genuine employee-driven innovations are a rarity. Nevertheless, the research also finds that workplace learning (job training and in-work learning opportunities) are potentially strong levers for employee innovation for all types of employees. Specifically providing in-work learning opportunities to technical workers could make innovation more mainstream in Europe.
    Keywords: Employee Driven Innovation; Innovation Mainstreaming; Innovative Work Behaviour; Workplace Learning
    JEL: D23 D83 D8 O31
    Date: 2012–12
  7. By: Piper, Alan T.
    Abstract: This paper tests whether there are wider considerations for undertaking than just income enhancements and improved working conditions. Hence, the investigation here is to ascertain whether there is a happiness premium to education over and above any human capital benefits? A novel feature of the paper is the extended methodological discussion which results from the finding of omitted dynamics. This complicates the analysis, and means that standard FE methods are not wholly appropriate. The discussion details the options available, and offers advice for happiness research where there are omitted dynamics. The empirical results are broadly supportive of human capital theory, and suggest a substantial ‘structural break’ regarding gender.
    Keywords: Education; Human Capital Theory; Life Satisfaction
    JEL: I31 I21 J24
    Date: 2012–12
  8. By: Zavyalova, E. K.; Kosheleva, S. V.
    Abstract: The paper presents the results of a comparative study of human resource management peculiarities in two groups of knowledge-intensive firms: those working in IT field and in advertising/ PR field. 100 Russian medium size enterprises were the object of research. The questionnaire made on the basis of the European quality standard "Investors in People" was the research tool. The differences in HR practices aimed at personnel development and relevant to various human resource strategies have been proven to a statistically-valid degree. IT companies tend to realize the high performance strategy, whereas advertising and PR companies prefer the high involvement strategy.
    Keywords: knowledge-intensive firms, HR strategies, HRD technologies,
    Date: 2012
  9. By: Marc Klemp; Chris Minns; Patrick Wallis; Jacob Weisdorf (University of Copenhagen, LSE, and University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: This paper uses linked apprenticeship-family reconstitution records to explore the influence of family structure on human capital formation in preindustrial England. We observe a small but significant relationship between birth order, resources and human capital investments. Among the gentry, eldest sons were almost never apprenticed. Outside the gentry, a large number of apprentices were eldest sons, even from farming families. This Implies a relatively large place for a child’s aptitude and interest in shaping their career compared to custom or inheritance practices, making the “middling sorts” behave much more as families do in presentday labour studies than the contemporary elites. We also find a surprisingly high rate of return migration, questioning the emphasis on neo-locality and suggesting that parents could anticipate benefiting directly from positive externalities arising from the training provided to children. This interpretation also fits well with our finding that if parents had died before indenture, apprentices were significantly less likely to return home.
    Keywords: Apprenticeship, Family Structure, Human Capital, Preindustrial England, Primogeniture
    Date: 2013–01
  10. By: Wiederhold, Simon; Riener, Gerhard
    Abstract: This paper investigates the role of social identity in reactions to control. We propose a simple principal-agent model with control that incorporates the existence of social groups. Our laboratory experiment shows that, in contrast to no-group agents, agents in social groups (i) perform better; (ii) expect less control; (iii) do not reciprocate when facing less control than expected; (iv) decrease their performance substantially when actual control exceeds their expectation. Hidden costs of control thus appear to be more substantial in social groups. --
    JEL: C92 M54 D03
    Date: 2012
  11. By: Warnke, Arne Jonas; Ederer, Peer; Schuller, Philipp
    Abstract: The authors investigate on the basis of primary and secondary data the relationship between individual cognitive skills and the complexity of the particular work those individuals perform. Additionally, the relationship between skills and mobility between more or less complex jobs in an highly homogenous industrial environment is analyzed. The primary data consists of a survey conducted in 2011 of anonymously tested 305 participants in selected factories of four different companies. The survey consists of a newly developed dynamic problem solving test and a standard general intelligence test. Skill measurement is supplemented by information about tasks and personal background. Results are compared to larger scale secondary data sources. Special focus is placed on different employment groups within a company: assemblers, craftsmen, technicians and engineers. Using this data, we can show that non-routine content of individual work is strongly related to cognitive skills. Also, higher cognitive skill levels predict upward occupational mobility. Finally, we demonstrate that the established task-based approach helps to explain why the occupational mobility between some occupational groups is lower than between others. These findings can be useful for the discovery of opportunities for occupational upward mobility in a homogenous environment. --
    JEL: J24 J62 J60
    Date: 2012
  12. By: Antonio Di Paolo (AQR – IREA, University of Barcelona, Avda Diagonal, 690, 08034 Barcelona)
    Abstract: Drawing on data from two successive cohorts of PhD graduates, this paper analyses differences in overall job satisfaction and specific job domain satisfaction among PhDs employed in different sectors four years after completing their doctorate degrees. Covariate-adjusted job satisfaction differentials suggest that, compared to faculty members, PhD holders employed outside traditional academic and research jobs are more satisfied with the pecuniary facets of their work (principally, because of higher earnings), but significantly less satisfied with the content of their job and with how well the job matches their skills (and, in the case of public sector workers, with their prospects of promotion). The evidence regarding the overall job satisfaction of the PhD holders indicates that working in the public or private sectors is associated with less work well-being, which cannot be fully compensated by the better pecuniary facets of the job. It also appears that being employed in academia or in research centres provides almost the same perceived degree of satisfaction with the job and with its four specific domains. We also take into account the endogenous sorting of PhD holders into different occupations based on latent personal traits that might be related to job satisfaction. The selectivity-corrected job satisfaction differentials reveal the importance of self-selection based on unobservable traits, and confirm the existence of a certain penalisation for working in occupations other than academia or research, which is especially marked in the case of satisfaction with job content and job-skills match. The paper presents additional interesting evidence about the determinants of occupational choice among PhD holders, highlighting the relevance of certain academic attributes (especially PhD funding and pre-and-post-doc research mobility) in affecting the likelihood of being employed in academia, in a research centre or in other public or private sector job four years after completing their doctorate programme.
    Keywords: Job Satisfaction, Job Domain Satisfaction, Occupational Choices, Self-Selection, PhD Holders, Catalonia
    JEL: J24 J28 J45 C31 C35
    Date: 2012–12
  13. By: Goldbach, Stefan
    Abstract: Policy makers are interested in fostering economic growth and employment. Therefore, it is important to know how to boost innovation in an effective way. This paper investigates whether entrepreneurs with technical education are more innovative in high-tech industries than economists. The main contribution to the literature is in using the type of education as main explanatory variable for innovation. To analyze this question, the KfW/ZEW Start-Up Panel between 2005 and 2007 is used. Two independent OLS regressions are conducted for entrepreneurs with university degree and practical education. The results suggest that education matters for individuals with a university degree in high-tech industries but not for people with practical education. Having an economics degree is correlated with higher innovativeness. Therefore, for the underlying sample we do not find a nerd effect . --
    JEL: A20 L26 I21
    Date: 2012
  14. By: Andrew J. Epstein; Sean Nicholson; David A. Asch
    Abstract: Our understanding of the determinants of physician skill and the extent to which skill is valued in the marketplace is superficial. Using a large, detailed panel of new obstetricians, we find that, even though physicians’ maternal complication rates improve steadily with years of practice, initial skill (as measured by performance in a physician’s first year of practice) explains most of the variation in physician performance over time. At the same time, we find that the trajectories of new physicians’ delivery volume develop in a way partially consistent with Bayesian learning about physician quality. In particular, as physicians gain experience, their volume becomes increasingly sensitive to the information in their accumulated prior.
    JEL: D83 I11 J24 L15
    Date: 2013–01
  15. By: Fidrmuc, Jarko; Senaj, Matus
    Abstract: This paper focuses on human capital and physical capital of households in Slovakia during the economic reforms of the last two decades. We compare households who entered the labor market before and after the economic reforms in 1990. On the one hand, we study the returns to education by different labor market cohorts using household consumption surveys. On the other hand, we analyze the determinants of housing wealth and its impact on consumption. We show that old cohorts are characterized by lower returns to human capital and consumption levels, but higher housing wealth. Thus, we do not identify a clear pattern of winners and losers from transition. --
    JEL: D12 J24 C31
    Date: 2012
  16. By: Xu, Yi; Foldvari, Peter; Van Leeuwen, Bas
    Abstract: The traditional education system in Qing China has been widely debated over the past decades. Some have argued it was efficient and furthered economic growth, while others have stressed its inefficient nature, which led to the introduction of the modern education system in the closing decades of the 19th century, followed by its total collapse in 1905. In this paper we make a first try to quantify above debate. Starting from the observation that below the well-known civil examination system there existed a whole system of popular and vocational education, we find that years of education in the population were still lower than in many European countries. More interestingly, whereas in European countries years of education increased strongly in the 19th century, our estimates of average years of education and the ABCC indices show that the level of education remained stable well into the 1920s when it accelerated. However, the main rise only occurred during the late 20th century. This finding leads to an interesting question since per capita income only started to grow significantly since the 1950s. This means that the rise of education since the mid-1920s was not as such driven by per capita income. Apparently this was the same for both the traditional and modern education since the latter had already started to transform Chinese education from the 1890s onwards. Hence, we have to look at the question why persons decided to follow education, i.e. was it individually profitable to follow education (positive private returns)? However, testing for this latter hypothesis shows that, after correction for foregone earnings, life expectancy, and probability of passing the exams, only the below shengyuan level students actually had positive returns. For an ordinary person it was therefore uneconomical to join in the civil examination system. Apparently this did not change, not even after the introduction of the modern education system, until the 1950s.
    Keywords: human capital; China; private returns; economic development
    JEL: I21 N15
    Date: 2013–01–02

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