nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2013‒10‒11
eight papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
University of Cologne

  1. Scientific breakthroughs, innovation clusters and stochastic growth cycles By Stadler, Manfred
  2. Saving the public from the private? Incentives and outcomes in dual practice By Kuhn, Michael; Nuscheler, Robert
  3. The Long-run and Intergenerational Education Impacts of Intergovernmental Transfers By Irineu de Carvalho Filho; Stephan Litschig
  4. Human Capital and Growth in a Services Economy: the Case of Portugal By Marta C. N. Simões; Adelaide Duarte
  5. Absent With Leave: The Implications of Demographic Change for Worker Absenteeism By Finn Poschmann; Omar Chatur
  6. Will Ugly Betty ever find a job in Italy? By Giovanni BUSETTA; Fabio FIORILLO
  7. Are we wasting public money? No! The effects of grants on Italian university students’ performances By Tommaso Agasisti; Samuele Murtinu
  8. The Retraction Penalty: Catastrophe and Consequence in Scientific Teams By Ginger Zhe Jin; Benjamin Jones; Susan Feng Lu; Brian Uzzi

  1. By: Stadler, Manfred
    Abstract: We develop a dynamic stochastic general-equilibrium model of science, education and innovation to explain the simultaneous emergence of innovation clusters and stochastic growth cycles. Firms devote human-capital resources to research activities in order to invent higher quality products. The technological requirements in climbing up the quality ladders increase over time but this hampering effect is compensated for by an improving qualification of researchers allowing for a sustainable process of innovation and scale-invariant growth. Jumps in human capital, triggered by scientific breakthroughs, induce innovation clusters across industries and generate long-run growth cycles. --
    Keywords: Science,Education,Innovation clusters,Stochastic growth cycles
    JEL: C61 E32 O33
    Date: 2013
  2. By: Kuhn, Michael; Nuscheler, Robert
    Abstract: We consider a setting of dual practice, where a physician offers free public treatment and, if allowed, a private treatment for which patients have to pay out of pocket. Private treatment is superior in terms of health outcomes but more costly and time intensive. For the latter reason it generates waiting costs. As patients differ in their propensity to benefit from private treatment and in their costs of waiting for treatment, we study the physician's incentives to supply private care and to allocate waiting time to public and private sectors and contrast it with the first-best allocation. The physician shifts waiting costs to public patients in order to increase the willingness-topay for private treatment. While this waiting time allocation turns out to be socially optimal, the resulting positive network effect leads to an over-provision of private care if and only if waiting costs are sufficiently high. A second-best allocation arises when the health authority selects physician reimbursement in the public segment but has no control over private provision. Depending on the welfare weight the health authority attaches to physician profits a ban of dual practice may improve on the second-best allocation. Due to patient heterogeneity, such a ban would affect patients differently. --
    Keywords: dual practice,health outcomes,health care financing,provider contract,waiting times
    JEL: I11 I18 H51 L33 L51
    Date: 2013
  3. By: Irineu de Carvalho Filho; Stephan Litschig
    Abstract: This paper provides regression discontinuity evidence on long-run and intergenerational education impacts of a temporary increase in federal transfers to local governments in Brazil. Revenues and expenditures of the communities benefiting from extra transfers temporarily increased by about 20% during the 4 year period from 1982 to the end of 1985. Schooling and literacy gains for directly exposed cohorts established in previous work that used the 1991 census are attenuated but persist in the 2000 and 2010 censuses. Children and adolescents of the next generation---born after the extra funding had disappeared---show gains of about 0.08 standard deviation across the entire score distribution of two nationwide exams at the end of the 2000s. While we find no evidence of persistent improvements in school resources, we document discontinuities in education levels, literacy rates and incomes of test takers' parents that are consistent with intergenerational human capital spillovers.
    Keywords: intergovernmental grants, human capital, test scores, regression discontinuity
    JEL: H40 H72 I21 O15
    Date: 2013–09
  4. By: Marta C. N. Simões (GEMF/ Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra, Portugal); Adelaide Duarte (GEMF/ Faculty of Economics University of Coimbra, Portugal)
    Abstract: The persistence of relative low aggregate income and productivity levels and performance in Portugal might be linked to the strong weight of services, and especially traditional stagnant personal services, which have fewer opportunities for enhancing its productivity. The so-called modern progressive services, such as financial and business services and communications, on the other hand, have registered higher labor productivity levels, since they are more receptive to the use of information technologies and are increasingly tradable across borders. However, these services sub-sectors demand higher levels of human capital and so the relatively low educational levels of the Portuguese workforce might have prevented Portugal from capitalizing on the opportunities provided by modern services growth and continue to do so in the future. In order to shed some light on these interactions we investigate the existence of causality among sectoral productivity, services sector expansion, human capital, and aggregate productivity over the period 1970-2006 in the Portuguese economy. The evidence suggests bi-directional causality only between sectoral and aggregate productivity, with sectoral employment shares and human capital not revealing themselves as relevant for the explanation of the other variables nor being influenced by them. Across services sub-sectors, community social and personal services seem to be the most influential sector, making a positive and lasting contribution to aggregate productivity, and this seems to be the reason why, at a higher level of aggregation, non-market services appear thus as positive contributor to aggregate productivity, while market services have no influence.
    Keywords: services, human capital, growth, Portugal
    JEL: L8 O14 O15 O52
    Date: 2013–09
  5. By: Finn Poschmann (C.D. Howe Institute); Omar Chatur (C.D. Howe Institute)
    Abstract: Over the past 30 years, sick days have risen in Canada’s workforce, overall, raising important questions about why days lost owing to reported illness are climbing, and how demographic and institutional change may have affected reported rates and may do so in the future. The data show striking differences in absentee-rate trends based on age, sex, and union status. Days lost owing to illness vary across age groups: as the demographic weight of Canada’s population shifts from younger to older categories, reported days lost rise. Absence rates for female versus male workers of all ages and types have diverged over the course of the last few decades, with females taking more days off and men’s rate showing little change. Public-sector employees report more workplace absences than do private-sector employees. Workers in unionized settings take more sick leave days than those in non-union settings. Workplaces and government practices and policies must adjust to these realities, through a combination of accommodation, flexibility and planning.
    Keywords: Social Policy, Labour Markets
    JEL: J21
  6. By: Giovanni BUSETTA (Universit… di Messina, Department of Economics, Business, Environmental Sciences, and Quantitative Methods); Fabio FIORILLO (Universit… Politecnica delle Marche, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche e Sociali)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impact of beauty on employability, stressing the first stage of the hiring process. In particular, we studied the Italian labor market in order to ascertain whether there exists a preference for attractive applicants according to gender and racial characteristics. The sample analyzed consists of observations collected by sending 11008 curricula vitae (henceforth CVs) to firms looking for workers in response to advertised job postings.;Positive responses were obtained by 3278 CVs (almost 30% of the sample). We then compared response rates of different categories, obtaining the following results: those who receive the highest levels of positive responses are attractive subjects; most of the responses to plain subjects involve unqualified jobs; beauty appears to be essential for front clerical work; racial discrimination appears to be significant, but less so than discrimination based on physical features, especially for women.
    Keywords: beauty premium, experimental economics, racial discrimination
    JEL: C93 J71 J78
    Date: 2013–10
  7. By: Tommaso Agasisti (Politecnico di Milano); Samuele Murtinu (Politecnico di Milano)
    Abstract: In this paper, we estimate the effect of receiving a financial aid for a cohort of students who enrolled at Politecnico di Milano (Italy) in the year 2007/08, through a Propensity Score Matching approach. Using administrative data about these students for four years, we were able to evaluate the impact of the financial aid on several dimensions of academic performance: formative credits obtained after one year, dropout probability in the first and second year, graduation in the legal duration of the course, and graduation after four years. Overall, we find a positive and statistically significant effect of the grant; this finding is stable across several robustness checks. Exploring the heterogeneity of this effect, we demonstrate that this latter is higher for immigrants, Italians who moved from another region for studying, and students attending an Engineering course. We also find evidence that unobservable factors (such as students’ own intrinsic academic motivation) account for an important part of the estimated impact of the financial aid.
    Keywords: Financial aid, propensity score matching
    JEL: H52 I22 I23 I28 C21
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Ginger Zhe Jin; Benjamin Jones; Susan Feng Lu; Brian Uzzi
    Abstract: What are the individual rewards to working in teams? This question extends across many production settings but is of long-standing interest in science and innovation, where the “Matthew Effect” suggests that eminent team members garner credit for great works at the expense of less eminent team members. In this paper, we study this question in reverse, examining highly negative events – article retractions. Using the Web of Science, we investigate how retractions affect citations to the authors’ prior publications. We find that the Matthew Effect works in reverse – namely, scientific misconduct imposes little citation penalty on eminent coauthors. By contrast, less eminent coauthors face substantial citation declines to their prior work, and especially when they are teamed with an eminent author. A simple Bayesian model is used to interpret the results. These findings suggest that a good reputation can have protective properties, but at the expense of those with less established reputations.
    JEL: J24 L15 L23 O3
    Date: 2013–10

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