nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2013‒09‒06
seven papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
University of Cologne

  1. Overtime Working and Contract Efficiency By Hart, Robert A.; Ma, Yue
  2. Should I stay or should I go? Former CEOs as monitors By Andres, Christian; Fernau, Erik; Theissen, Erik
  3. Prizes and Productivity- How Winning the Fields Medal Affects Scientific Output By Kirk B. Doran; George J. Borjas
  4. Work norms, social insurance and the allocation of talent By Corneo, Giacomo
  5. Physiological Responses to Stressful Work Situations in Low-Immersive Virtual Environments By Valeria Faralla; Alessandro Innocenti; Stefano Taddei; Eva Venturini
  6. Channels of Labour Supply Responses of Lone Parents to Changed Work Incentives By Gong, Xiaodong; Breunig, Robert
  7. Efficiency of Public Sector Organizations: Perspectives from Theories of Bureaucracy By Erkoc, Taptuk Emre

  1. By: Hart, Robert A. (University of Stirling); Ma, Yue (City University of Hong Kong)
    Abstract: We present a wage-hours contract designed to minimize costly job turnover given investments in on the job training combined with firm and worker information asymmetries. It may be optimal for the parties to work 'long hours' remunerated at premium rates for guaranteed overtime hours. Based on British plant and machine operatives, we test three predictions. First, trained workers with longer job tenure are more likely to work overtime. Second, hourly overtime pay exceeds the value of marginal product while the basic hourly wage is less than the value of marginal product. Third, the basic hourly wage is negatively related to the overtime premium.
    Keywords: paid overtime, wage-hours contract, plant and machine operatives
    JEL: J41 J33
    Date: 2013–08
  2. By: Andres, Christian; Fernau, Erik; Theissen, Erik
    Abstract: In the German two-tiered system of corporate governance, it is not uncommon for chief executive officers (CEOs) to become the chairman of the supervisory board of the same company upon retirement. This practice has been discussed controversially because of potential conflicts of interest. As a member of the supervisory board the former CEO has to monitor his successor and former colleagues, and he is involved in setting their pay. We analyze a panel covering 150 listed firms over a 10-year period. Consistent with the existence of a leniency bias, we show that firms in which a former CEO serves on the supervisory board pay their executives significantly more. We further find weak evidence that the compensation of the members of the supervisory board is also higher. Short-run event study results indicate that the announcement of the transition of a retiring CEO to the supervisory board is considered as good news. Thus, despite the increases in executive compensation we document, CEO transitions are not a cause of concern for shareholders. --
    Keywords: Executive compensation,board structure,two-tiered board
    JEL: G30 G38
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Kirk B. Doran (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame); George J. Borjas (Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University)
    Abstract: Knowledge generation is key to economic growth, and scientific prizes are designed to encourage it. But how does winning a prestigious prize affect future output? We compare the productivity of Fields medalists (winners of the top Mathematics prize) to that of similarly brilliant contenders. The two groups have similar publication rates until the award year, after which the winners’ productivity declines. The medalists begin to “play the field,” studying unusual topics at the expense of writing papers. This strategy is consistent with a model of human capital investments under uncertainty: the wealth effect of the prize encourages riskier knowledge investments.
    Keywords: Knoweledge, Productivity, Prizes
    JEL: O31 J24 J22
    Date: 2013–08
  4. By: Corneo, Giacomo
    Abstract: This paper challanges the view that weak work norms in generous welfare states makes them economically unsustainable. I develop a dynamic model of family-transmitted values that has a laissez-faire equilibrium with strong work norms coexisting with a social-insurance equilibrium with weak work norms. While the former has better incentives, the latter induces more intergenerational occupational mobility which improves the allocation of talent and fuels growth. Strong work norms arise as a defensive strategy of parents that aims at perpetuating their occupation along family lines. I present evidence from microdata showing that generous social insurance correlates with high intergenerational occupational mobility and that more mobile individuals endorse weaker work norms. --
    Keywords: work norms,unemployment insurance,occupational mobility,economic growth.
    JEL: H2 O0 Z1
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Valeria Faralla; Alessandro Innocenti; Stefano Taddei; Eva Venturini
    Abstract: The paper analyzes physiological responses to different visual representations of stressful work activities. A between-subject experiment was conducted to analyze differences in heart rate (HR) and electromyography (EMG) between subjects watching videos featuring real actors and virtual videos with avatars representing the same situation. Findings show that exposure to real videos is associated with greater physiological activations than exposure to virtual videos. This evidence may suggest that, by inducing less emotional involvement, low-immersive virtual environments activate different cognitive mechanisms of stress perception.
    Keywords: work stress, physiological activations, perception, virtual reality.
    JEL: C91 D01 D81
    Date: 2013–07
  6. By: Gong, Xiaodong (NATSEM, University of Canberra); Breunig, Robert (Australian National University)
    Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the response of female lone parents to two reforms to the welfare system in Australia. We look at changes to both hours and participation and focus on the channels of adjustment, in particular the role of job changes for adjustment in hours. We highlight the relationship between policy design and heterogeneous outcomes. Workers/non-workers and mothers with high/low education respond differently to different policies. We find evidence of within job rigidities as the adjustment of working hours happens primarily through changing jobs. Our findings also provide support for the importance of accounting for fixed costs of working.
    Keywords: channel of labour supply adjustment, lone mothers, job changes, difference-in-differences
    JEL: C23 H31 I38 J13 J22
    Date: 2013–08
  7. By: Erkoc, Taptuk Emre
    Abstract: Economic insights on the provision of public goods and services by public sector organizations went hand in hand with probing questions on the efficient allocation of resources within them concerning neo-classical assumptions on the theory of firm (Coase, 1937; Alchian and Demsetz, 1972). The rationale behind the unprecedented divergences from the neo-classical firm postulations on the basis of not-to-operate at the efficient production frontier has attracted attentions of researchers working not only on the private firms but also on the public sector. This paper investigates theoretical underpinnings of efficient allocation of resources within public sector organizations on the basis of a variety of arguments. Before examining the (in) efficient usage of resources in the public sector that is mostly based on the theory of bureaucracy, methodological and practical challenges to measure the efficiency performances of public intuitions are visited. Subsequently, institutional framework on the public provision of goods and services is scrutinised referring particularly to the discussion on incentive schemes and efficiency.
    Keywords: Efficiency, Government Output, Public Sector Organizations, Bureaucracy
    JEL: D73 H11
    Date: 2013–08–30

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