nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on All new papers
Issue of 2014‒09‒08
ten papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universität zu Köln

  1. Time preferences, study effort, and academic performance By Non J.A.; Tempelaar D.T.
  2. Employment protection legislation, capital investment and access to credit: evidence from Italy By Federico Cingano; Marco Leonardi; Julián Messina; Giovanni Pica
  3. Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? Evidence from the Lab By Maria Cubel; Ana Nuevo-Chiquero; Santiago Sanchez-Pages; Marian Vidal-Fernandez
  4. Is Leadership in the Eye of the Beholder? -A Study of Intended and Perceived Leadership Strategies and Organizational Performance By Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen; Lotte Bøgh Andersen
  5. Health information, treatment, and worker productivity: Experimental evidence from malaria testing and treatment among Nigerian sugarcane cutters By Andrew Dillon; Jed Friedman; Pieter Serneels
  6. Leading public service organizations: How to obtain employees with high self-efficacy By Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen; Lotte Bøgh Andersen
  7. Cheating and loss aversion: do people lie more to avoid a loss? By Grolleau, Gilles; Kocher, Martin G.; Sutan, Angela
  8. The Effects of Punishment of Crime in Colombia on Deterrence, Incapacitation, and Human Capital Formation By Arlen Guarin; Carlos Medina; Jorge Andres Tamayo
  9. Ability, academic climate, and going abroad for work or pursuing a PhD By Bertrand-Cloodt D.A.M.; Cörvers F; Heijke J.A.M.
  10. Goal Prioritization and Commitment in Public Organizations: Exploring the Effects of Goal Conflict By Camilla Denager Staniok

  1. By: Non J.A.; Tempelaar D.T. (ROA)
    Abstract: We analyze the relation between time preferences, study effort, and academic performance among first-year Business and Economics students. Time preferences are measured by stated preferences for an immediate payment over larger delayed payments. Data on study efforts are derived from an electronic learning environment, which records the amount of time students are logged in and the fraction of exercises completed. Our third measure of study effort is participation in an on-line summer course. We find that impatient students show weaker performance, but the consequences are relatively mild. Impatient students obtain lower grades and fail first sit exams more often, but they do not obtain significantly fewer study credits, nor are they more likely to drop out as a result of obtaining fewer study credits than required. We find a weak negative relationship between impatience and study effort. Differences in study effort therefore cannot explain impatient students lower academic performance.
    Keywords: Behavioral Economics: Underlying Principles; Intertemporal Choice and Growth: General; Analysis of Education;
    JEL: D03 D90 I21
    Date: 2014
  2. By: Federico Cingano; Marco Leonardi; Julián Messina; Giovanni Pica
    Abstract: This paper estimates the causal impact of dismissal costs on capital deepening and productivity exploiting a reform that introduced unjust-dismissal costs in Italy for firms below 15 employees, leaving firing costs unchanged for larger firms. We show that the increase in firing costs induces an increase in the capital-labour ratio and a decline in total factor productivity in small firms relative to larger firms after the reform. Our results indicate that capital deepening is more pronounced at the low-end of the capital distribution - where the reform hit arguably harder - and among firms endowed with a larger amount of liquid resources. We also find that stricter EPL raises the share of high-tenure workers, which suggests a complementarity between firm-specific human capital and physical capital in moderate EPL environments.
    Keywords: Capital deepening, severance payments, regression discontinuity design, financial market imperfections, credit constraints
    JEL: J65 G31 D24
    Date: 2014–06
  3. By: Maria Cubel (University of Barcelona and IEB); Ana Nuevo-Chiquero (University of Sheffield); Santiago Sanchez-Pages (Edinburgh School of Economics and University of Barcelona); Marian Vidal-Fernandez (University of New South Wales and IZA)
    Abstract: While survey data supports a strong relationship between personality and labor market outcomes, the exact mechanisms behind this association remain unexplored. In this paper, we take advantage of a controlled laboratory set-up to test whether this relationship operates through productivity, and isolate this mechanism from other channels such as bargaining ability or self-selection into jobs. Using a gender neutral real-effort task, we analyse the impact of the Big Five personality traits on performance. We find that more neurotic subjects perform worse, and that more conscientious individuals perform better. These findings are in line with previous survey studies and suggest that at least part of the effect of personality on labor market outcomes operates through productivity. In addition, we find evidence that gender and university major affect the impact of the Big Five personality traits on performance.
    Keywords: Big-Five; personality traits; experiment; labour productivity; performance
    JEL: C91 D03 J3 M5
    Date: 2014–08
  4. By: Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen (Insitute of Political Science, Aarhus School of Business); Lotte Bøgh Andersen (Insitute of Political Science, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: The HRM literature argues that intended leadership practices can be perceived entirely different by employees, and that perceived practices are more likely to be related to performance than intended practices, because perceived practices are closer related with motivation and commitment. Using a sample of 1,621 teachers and 79 Danish high schools, we find that intended and perceived transformational and transactional leadership strategies are only weakly correlated, and that only perceived strategies (both transformational and transactional) are significantly related to objectively measured school performance.
    Date: 2014–08
  5. By: Andrew Dillon (Michigan State University); Jed Friedman (World Bank); Pieter Serneels (University of East Anglia)
    Abstract: Agricultural and other physically demanding sectors are important sources of growth in developing countries but prevalent diseases such as malaria adversely impact the productivity, labor supply, and occupational choice of workers in these sectors by reducing physical capacity. This study identifies the impact of malaria on worker earnings, labor supply, and daily productivity by randomizing the temporal order at which piece-rate workers at a large sugarcane plantation in Nigeria are offered malaria testing and treatment. The results indicate a significant and substantial intent to treat effect of the intervention – the offer of a workplace based malaria testing and treatment program increases worker earnings by approximately 10% over the weeks following the mobile clinic visit. The study further investigates the effect of health information by contrasting program effects by workers revealed health status. For workers who test positive for malaria, the treatment of illness increases labor supply, leading to higher earnings. For workers who test negative, and especially for those workers most likely to be surprised by the healthy diagnosis, the health information also leads to increased earnings via increased productivity. Possible mechanisms for this response include selection into higher return occupations as a result of changes in the perceived cost of effort. A model of the worker labor decision that includes health perceptions in the decision to supply effort suggests that, in endemic settings with poor quality health services, inaccurate health perceptions may lead workers to misallocate labor thus resulting in sub-optimal production and occupational choice. The results underline the importance of medical treatment but also of access to improved information about one’s health status, as the absence of either may lead workers to deliver lower than optimal effort levels in lower return occupations.
    Keywords: malaria, labor supply, labor productivity, randomized experiment
    JEL: I21 J22 J24 O12
  6. By: Christian Bøtcher Jacobsen (Insitute of Political Science, Aarhus School of Business); Lotte Bøgh Andersen (Insitute of Political Science, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Public management literature has often debated the usefulness of transactional leadership. Some scholars are concerned that transactional leadership strategies will harm public employees’ perceived competence (i.e. their self-efficacy), but in fact there are also arguments for the opposite result - that feelings of competence are strengthened by conditional rewards, because they provide feedback about performance. We study how 91 high school principals’ reported use of rewards and sanctions affect perceived professional competence among their 1,921 teachers. The results show that the use of rewards strengthens self-efficacy, and that the use of sanctions does not seem to have negative effects. Furthermore, the teachers’ self-efficacy can be linked positively to organizational performance. This suggests that rewards can be an important tool for managers in the public sector.
    Date: 2014–08
  7. By: Grolleau, Gilles; Kocher, Martin G.; Sutan, Angela
    Abstract: Does the extent of cheating depend on a proper reference point? We use a real effort task that implements a two (gain versus loss frame) times two (monitored performance versus unmonitored performance) between-subjects design to examine whether cheating is reference-dependent. Our experimental findings show that self-reported performance in the unmonitored condition is significantly higher than actual performance in the monitored condition - a clear indication for cheating. However, the level of cheating is by far higher in the loss frame than in the gain frame. Furthermore, men are much more strongly affected by the framing than women.
    Keywords: Cheating; Lying; Loss aversion; Experiment
    JEL: C91 D03
    Date: 2014–08–25
  8. By: Arlen Guarin; Carlos Medina; Jorge Andres Tamayo
    Abstract: Using individual data on persons arrested in the Medellin Metropolitan Area, this paper assesses whether the change in punishment at age 18, mandated by law, has a deterrent effect on arrests. No deterrent effect was found on index, violent or property crimes, but a deterrence effect was found on non-index crimes, specifically those related to drug consumption and trafficking. The change in criminal penalties at 18 years of age does not explain future differences in human capital formation among the population that had been arrested immediately after versus immediately before reaching 18 years of age. There is no evidence that the longer length of time to recidivate on the part of individuals arrested for the first time immediately after reaching 18 implies future differences in human capital formation. These results suggest a specific deterrence effect resulting from the harsher experience while in prison of those arrested right after reaching 18.
    JEL: D19 J24 K14 K42
    Date: 2013–07
  9. By: Bertrand-Cloodt D.A.M.; Cörvers F; Heijke J.A.M. (GSBE)
    Abstract: We investigate whether a creaming off of highly able students from Dutch universities is taking place. Therefore, we examine the relation between ability and the destination of recent graduates of Dutch universities. Students can choose to continue their academic career by investing in a PhD degree instead of working, taking into account that both options can be realized in the Netherlands as well as abroad. We also investigate whether these choices are affected by the climate in certain fields of study and universities. Using a data set of workers and PhD students who recently graduated from Dutch universities two probit equations are estimated simultaneously, one for the migration decision and one for the choice between working and pursuing a PhD. Our findings indicate that highly able graduates are significantly more likely than average graduates to go abroad. They invest more often in a PhD programme, which is positively correlated with their likelihood to go abroad. In addition, the climate promoting going abroad and starting PhD study is shown to have positive effects on the odds of going abroad and participating in a PhD programme. This particularly holds for the highly able.
    Keywords: International Migration; Higher Education and Research Institutions;
    JEL: I23 F22
    Date: 2014
  10. By: Camilla Denager Staniok (Institute of Political Science, Aarhus School of Business)
    Abstract: Public personnel policies increasingly adapt performance management systems that focus on goal attainment making goal commitment a critical issue in contemporary public administration research. Few studies have however empirically investigated how context factors such as goal conflicts reduce or hinder goal commitment. Accordingly, this paper investigates the interplay between public managers’ goal prioritization, goal conflict and employees’ goal commitment. Multilevel data from two electronic surveys of 67 principals and 1362 teachers in secondary education show that goal conflict moderates the association between principals’ goal prioritization and teachers’ goal commitment.
    Keywords: Goal commitment, goal prioritization, goal conflict, public organizations, management
    Date: 2014–08

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