nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2013‒11‒22
seventeen papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
University of Cologne

  1. Competitive Screening of a Heterogeneous Labor Force and Corporate Teamwork Attitude By Tymula, Agnieszka
  2. An examination of the factors influencing relationship building and performance in virtual R&D project teams By Nabila Jawadi; Dominique Bonet-Fernandez
  3. Reducing Moral Hazard in Employment Relationships: Experimental Evidence on Managerial Control and Performance Pay By C. Kirabo Jackson; Henry S. Schneider
  4. Social Capital and Human Capital in the Colonies: A Study of Cocoa Farmers in Western Nigeria By Nonso Obikili
  5. Does Apprenticeship Improve Job Opportunities? A Regression Discontinuity Approach By Picchio, Matteo; Staffolani, Stefano
  6. The Power of Religious Organizations in Human Decision Processes: Analyzing Voting Behavior By Benno Torgler; Davis Stadelmann; Marco Portmann
  7. Time is money: Life cycle rational inertia and delegation of investment management By Kim, Hugh H.; Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S.
  8. Compulsory tutorial programmes and performance in undergraduate microeconomics: A regression discontinuity design By Volker Schöer; Debra Shepherd
  9. Economic Benefits of Studying Economics in Canada: A Comparison of Wages of Economics Majors with those in Other Disciplines Circa 2005 By Akbari, Ather H.; Aydede, Yigit
  10. Initiating and managing career creativity of corporate professionals By Olga Lelebina
  11. Age-productivity patterns in talent occupations for men and women: a decomposition By Barbara Liberda; Joanna Tyrowicz; Magdalena Smyk
  12. Collaboration, Stars, and the Changing Organization of Science: Evidence from Evolutionary Biology By Ajay Agrawal; John McHale; Alexander Oettl
  13. Temporary Contracts and Young Workers' Job Satisfaction in Italy By Bruno, Giovanni S. F.; Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Dessy, Orietta
  14. Reaching for the Stars: Exclusivity in Firm-University Links in the Pharmaceutical Industry. By Kelchtermans, Stijn; Belderbos, Rene; Leten, Bart; Desair, Steven
  15. Creative accounting in the British Industrial Revolution: Cotton manufacturers and the ‘Ten Hours’ Movement. By Toms, Steven; Shepherd, Alice
  16. Transfer Incentives for High-Performing Teachers: Final Results from a Multisite Randomized Experiment. By Steven Glazerman; Al Protik; Bing-ru Teh; Julie Bruch; Jeffrey Max
  17. Organizational choices and financial performance: the case of company-owned stores, franchisee-owned stores and stores-within-a-store among French fashion retailers By Paul Amadieu; Karine Picot-Coupey; Jean-Laurent Viviani

  1. By: Tymula, Agnieszka
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyze the impact of competition on the structure of incentive schemes, workforce composition and the degree of cooperation within firms. We show that in equilibrium high-ability workers, in order to distinguish themselves from the less able workforce, choose the incentive schemes that strongly rely on their own as well as their teammates' performance. They work harder on their own task and are more team-oriented than less skilled workers. Our paper stresses the sorting role of the incentives and provides a rationale for the emergence of different corporate teamwork practices.
    Date: 2013–11
  2. By: Nabila Jawadi; Dominique Bonet-Fernandez
    Abstract: Recent research on virtual teams highlights the importance of high quality relationships to achieve high team performance. For research and development (R&D) virtual project teams, relationships characterized by cooperation and trust are expected to enhance creativity and innovation among team members. The purpose of this paper is to identify variables enabling high quality relationship building in virtual R&D teams and to analyze their influence on team performance. To this end, this study examines the effects of leadership, work organization and communication practices on the quality of the relationship between team members. The theoretical developments are illustrated through a case study of a car development project in a leading French car-making firm. Our findings show that dynamic and positive leadership plays an important role in enhancing relationships between team members. The results also highlight the importance of synchronous meetings and frequent and regular interaction to build cooperative and trusty relationships leading to high performance.
    Keywords: virtual R&D project teams, team performance, relationshipmanagement, leadership, communication.
    Date: 2013–11–14
  3. By: C. Kirabo Jackson; Henry S. Schneider
    Abstract: Moral hazard is endemic to employment relationships and firms often use performance pay and managerial control to address this problem. While performance pay has received much empirical attention, managerial control has not. We analyze data from a managerial-control field experiment in which an auto-repair firm provided detailed checklists to mechanics and monitored their use. Revenue was 20 percent higher under the experiment. We compare this effect to that of quasi-experimental increases in mechanic commission rates. The managerial-control effect is equivalent to that of a 10 percent commission increase. We find evidence of complementarities between the two, suggesting benefits from an all-of-the-above approach. We also find evidence of incentive gaming under performance pay.
    JEL: D0 D82 D86 H0 J0 J33 J41
    Date: 2013–11
  4. By: Nonso Obikili
    Abstract: I examine the relationship between social and human capital in colonial Western Nigeria. Using data on expenditure of cocoa farmers in 1952, I show that farmers in townships with higher social spending individually spend more on education. The relationship holds after controlling for various characteristics of the farmers and the townships. Thus I show that there is a relationship between social and human capital and that this relationship was already present during the colonial era.
    Keywords: Human Capital, social capital, Africa
    JEL: J24 D71 N37
    Date: 2013
  5. By: Picchio, Matteo (Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona); Staffolani, Stefano (Marche Polytechnic University)
    Abstract: In Italy the reforms of the last twenty years shaped a dual labour market with different levels of employment protection for permanent jobs, on one side, and temporary jobs like apprenticeships and fixed-term contracts, on the other side. The main difference between apprentices and other types of temporary workers is that the former should receive firm-provided training. The firm incentive in hiring apprentices consists in the possibility to pay lower wages and in a reduction in labour taxes. Using an Italian administrative longitudinal dataset containing information on all the job contracts started between January 2009 and June 2012, we estimate hazard functions towards permanent jobs and contrast the ones of apprentices with those of other types of temporary workers. The hazard function estimates based on a regression discontinuity approach affirm that apprenticeships are sorts of "long entrance halls" towards open-ended contracts, especially within the same firm where the apprenticeship was performed.
    Keywords: apprenticeship, temporary work, permanent work, regression discontinuity, hazard function
    JEL: C36 C41 J24 J41
    Date: 2013–11
  6. By: Benno Torgler; Davis Stadelmann; Marco Portmann
    Abstract: In Switzerland, two key church institutions – the Conference of Swiss Bishops (CSB) and the Federation of Protestant Churches (FPC) – make public recommendations on how to vote for certain referenda. We leverage this unique situation to directly measure religious organizations' power to shape human decision making. We employ an objective measure of voters' commitment to their religious organization to determine whether they are more likely to vote in line with this organization’s recommendations. We find that voting recommendations do indeed matter, implying that even in a secularized world, religion plays a crucial role in voting decisions.
    Keywords: Power, religion, voting, referenda, trust, rules of thumb
    JEL: D03 D72 D83 H70
    Date: 2013–11–18
  7. By: Kim, Hugh H.; Maurer, Raimond; Mitchell, Olivia S.
    Abstract: We investigate the theoretical impact of including two empirically-grounded insights in a dynamic life cycle portfolio choice model. The first is to recognize that, when managing their own financial wealth, investors incur opportunity costs in terms of current and future human capital accumulation, particularly if human capital is acquired via learning by doing. The second is that we incorporate age-varying efficiency patterns in financial decisionmaking. Both enhancements produce inactivity in portfolio adjustment patterns consistent with empirical evidence. We also analyze individuals' optimal choice between self-managing their wealth versus delegating the task to a financial advisor. Delegation proves most valuable to the young and the old. Our calibrated model quantifies welfare gains from including investment time and money costs, as well as delegation, in a life cycle setting. --
    Date: 2013
  8. By: Volker Schöer (School of Economic and Business Sciences, University of Witwatersrand); Debra Shepherd (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)
    Abstract: As South African universities experience extremely low graduation rates, academic staff implement a range of interventions, such as tutorial programmes, in order to improve student performance. However, relatively little is known about the impact of such tutorial programmes on students’ performance. Using data from an introductory microeconomics course, this paper investigates the impact of a compulsory tutorial programme on students’ performance in their final examination. Due to the fact that the tutorial programme was only compulsory for students that obtained less than a pass in the first test, while otherwise offered on a voluntary basis, this paper employs a fuzzy regression discontinuity (RD) design to investigate the impact of the tutorial programme on final exam performance. Findings indicate that assignment to the compulsory programme positively affects students’ performance. However, this result is mainly drive by students who already seem to have the ability to perform but, for whatever reason, underperformed in the first test. Thus, while assignment to the tutorial programme itself leads to an improvement in performance, the mechanism is unclear.
    Keywords: peer tutoring, compulsory tutorial programme, introductory microeconomics, regression discontinuity design, South Africa
    JEL: A2 A20 A22
    Date: 2013
  9. By: Akbari, Ather H.; Aydede, Yigit
    Abstract: In universities across many western countries, student enrolments in economics discipline rose sharply towards the end of last decade but not in Canada. One reason for this outcome may be the continued perception of Canadian students of a lower economic reward to an economics degree. Using micro data from the 2006 census, we perform a comparative analysis of the wages earned by university degree holders in 50 disciplines in relation to economics. At undergraduate level, economics majors earned the 9th highest average wage in 2005, after controlling for demographic variables. On average, after controlling for demographic differences, workers whose wages were below those of economics majors earned about 16 percent lower while those who earned above economics majors earned about 10 percent higher. Similarity of their wages with physical science majors and their wage advantage over political science majors are also striking findings of this study. At graduate level, economics majors have greater wage advantage over other disciplines except for the business majors.
    Keywords: Education, Economics degree , Economic returns to human capital, Wage differentials
    JEL: J6 J15 J61
    Date: 2013–02–25
  10. By: Olga Lelebina (CGS - Centre de Gestion Scientifique - MINES ParisTech - École nationale supérieure des mines de Paris)
    Abstract: In this paper we advance the knowledge on the careers of corporate professionals within organizational context. The particularity of this category of personnel lies in their close links with their respective knowledge domains. Thus, in order to apprehend the career patterns for these employees, we have undertaken a detailed analysis of the developmental cycles of seven knowledge domains within industrial organization - a major international player in the energy sector. Based on our case studies we propose an analytical scheme that characterises the knowledge domain by two dimensions: the dynamics of its initiation and the level of maturity. This framework allows us to distinguish two types of career models: creative and institutionalized. Building on our empirical material we contribute to the debates on how the creativity appears within organization, by proposing to look at this dynamics through the lenses of roles and careers of corporate professionals. We also provide some insights into the managerial models supporting the successful functioning of these two types of careers.
    Keywords: career creativity; corporate professionals
    Date: 2013
  11. By: Barbara Liberda (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Joanna Tyrowicz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw; National Bank of Poland); Magdalena Smyk (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: One could expect that in the so-called talent occupations, while access to these professions may differ between men and women, gender wage gap should be actually smaller due to high relevance of human capital quality. Wage regressions typically suggest an inverted U-shaped age-productivity pattern. However, such analyses confuse age, cohort and year effects. Deaton (1997) decomposition allows to disentangle these effects. We apply this method to inquire the age-productivity pattern for the so-called “talent†occupations. Using data from a transition economy (Poland) we find that indeed talent occupations have a steeper age-productivity pattern. However, gender differences are larger for talent occupations than for general occupations.
    Keywords: age-productivity pattern, gender wage gap, transition
    JEL: J24 J31 I20 J71
    Date: 2013
  12. By: Ajay Agrawal; John McHale; Alexander Oettl
    Abstract: We report a puzzling pair of facts concerning the organization of science. The concentration of research output is declining at the department level but increasing at the individual level. For example, in evolutionary biology, over the period 1980 to 2000, the fraction of citation-weighted publications produced by the top 20% of departments falls from approximately 75% to 60% but over the same period rises for the top 20% of individual scientists from 70% to 80%. We speculate that this may be due to changing patterns of collaboration, perhaps caused by the rising burden of knowledge and the falling cost of communication, both of which increase the returns to collaboration. Indeed, we report evidence that the propensity to collaborate is rising over time. Furthermore, the nature of collaboration is also changing. For example, the geographic distance as well as the difference in institution rank between collaborators is increasing over time. Moreover, the relative size of the pool of potential distant collaborators for star versus non-star scientists is rising over time. We develop a simple model based on star advantage in terms of the opportunities for collaboration that provides a unified explanation for these facts. Finally, considering the effect of individual location decisions of stars on the overall distribution of human capital, we speculate on the efficiency of the emerging distribution of scientific activity, given the localized externalities generated by stars on the one hand and the increasing returns to distant collaboration on the other.
    JEL: I23 J24 L23 O31 O33
    Date: 2013–11
  13. By: Bruno, Giovanni S. F. (Bocconi University); Caroleo, Floro Ernesto (University of Naples Parthenope); Dessy, Orietta (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore)
    Abstract: The Italian process of flexibilization of the labour market has created a dual market populated by protected permanent employees and unprotected temporary workers. The latter comprises not only temporary employment relationships but also autonomous collaborations used by firms as low-cost de facto temporary employment relationships. Little is known about the quality of these temporary jobs, particularly widespread among young workers. We estimate a regression model of perceived overall job satisfaction of young workers, based on the ISFOL-PLUS 2006-2008-2010 panel. We control for the various temporary contracts and for perceived satisfactions in nine aspects of the job. We find that lack of job stability is the most serious cause of lower satisfaction for both temporary employees and autonomous collaborators. But while temporary employees compensate concerns of job stability with other job aspects, attaining satisfaction levels comparable to those of permanent employees, autonomous collaborators do not and are thus significantly the least satisfied.
    Keywords: flexicurity, job satisfaction, de facto temporary employment
    JEL: J28 J81
    Date: 2013–11
  14. By: Kelchtermans, Stijn; Belderbos, Rene; Leten, Bart; Desair, Steven
    Abstract: This paper analyzes under which conditions joint basic research with academic ‘star’ scientists improves firms’ technological performance. Using data on 61 of the most R&D intensive firms in the biopharmaceutical sector in 1991-2003, we find that collaboration with academic stars for basic research increases inequality in technological performance across firms, with only the upper tail of the performance distribution benefiting from such partnerships. Further, we find that joint basic research with top academic scientists is more beneficial if the firm and the star also do joint applied work. Finally, we find a dual effect of firms’ exclusive access to academic stars, with a positive impact on technological performance for exclusive access to ‘translational’ stars versus a negative effect for exclusive access to ‘ivory tower’ stars.
    Keywords: innovation; Pharmaceutical Industry; Industry-science links; Star scientists;
    Date: 2013–03
  15. By: Toms, Steven; Shepherd, Alice
    Abstract: The paper examines an early case of creative accounting, and how, during British industrialization, accounting was enlisted by the manufacturers’ interest to resist demands, led by the ‘Ten hours’ movement, for limiting the working day. In contrast to much of the prior literature, which argues that entrepreneurs made poor use of accounting techniques in the British industrial revolution, the paper shows that there was considerable sophistication in their application to specific purposes, including political lobbying and accounting for the accumulation of capital. To illustrate lobbying behaviour, the paper examines entrepreneurs’ use of accounting to resist the threat of regulation of working time in textile mills. It explains why accounting information became so important in the debate over factory legislation. In doing so, it shows that a significant element was the accounting evidence of one manufacturer in particular, Robert Hyde Greg, which had a strong impact on the outcome of the parliamentary process. The paper uses archival evidence to illustrate how accounting was used in Greg’s enterprise and the reality of its economic performance. The archival evidence of actual performance is then contrasted with the figures presented by Greg to the Factories Inquiry Commission, convened by the House of Commons in 1833-1834 to hear witnesses from the manufacturing interest. These sets of figures are compared and contrasted and discrepancies noted. Conclusions show that the discrepancies were substantial, motivated by Greg’s incentives to present a particular view of low profits, high fixed costs, and the threat of cheaper overseas competition. The figures appeared to lend some credibility to the apparent plight of manufacturers and to Nassau Senior’s flawed argument about all profit being earned in the ‘last hour’ of the working day. The consequence was a setback for the Ten Hours movement, leading to a further intensification of political struggles over working conditions in the 1840s.
    Keywords: Key words: British Industrial Revolution, Accounting, Child labour, Factory Reform, Lancashire cotton textiles, Greg, Quarry Bank Mill
    JEL: J21 J31 K31 L50 L67 M4 N13 O14 O15 O38
    Date: 2013–11–15
  16. By: Steven Glazerman; Al Protik; Bing-ru Teh; Julie Bruch; Jeffrey Max
    Keywords: transfer incentives, randomized controlled trial, teacher effectiveness, value added
    JEL: I
    Date: 2013–11–30
  17. By: Paul Amadieu (University of Montpellier 1, Economic and Social Administration, Montpellier); Karine Picot-Coupey (CREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, FranceCREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, IGR-IAE Rennes, France); Jean-Laurent Viviani (CREM UMR CNRS 6211, University of Rennes 1, IGR-IAE Rennes, France)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the governance and financial performance issues in the context of French Fashion retail companies. In this study, we analyze the influence of the organizational choices on the financial performance at the network level. We consider three forms used in isolation (company-owned stores, franchisee-owned stores and stores-within-a-store), three dually-organized forms (dual forms mixing two of the three forms) as well as a combined form associating the three ones. We study a sample of mostly privately-held French retail companies from the fashion sector (n= 170), using two criteria of performance - profit margin ratio and return on assets. The results show that none of the purely or dual forms tends to generate better financial performance than any other, even though descriptive statistics exhibit important differences in terms of performance among organizational forms. The results highlight that networks combining company-ownership, franchising and stores-within-a-store generate better financial performance, up to a certain point.
    Keywords: Organizational form, financial performance, plural form, combined form, store-within-a-store, franchised store, company-owned store
    Date: 2013–11

This nep-hrm issue is ©2013 by Tommaso Reggiani. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.