nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2014‒11‒07
fifteen papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universität zu Köln

  1. The Complementarities between Information Technologies Use, New Organizational Practices and Employees' Contextual Performance: Evidence from Europe in 2005 and 2010 By Adel Ben Youssef; Ludivine Martin; Nessrine Omrani
  2. Performance-Based Financing, Motivation and Final Output in the Health Sector: Experimental Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo By Elise Huillery; Juliette Seban
  3. Flexible pay systems and labour productivity: Evidence from Emilia-Romagna manufacturing firms By Davide Antonioli; Paolo Pini; Roberto Antonietti
  4. Pay increase may not be a strong incentive for undertaking acquisitions By Swarnodeep Homroy
  5. Overcoming moral hazard with social networks in the workplace: An experimental approach By Dhillon, Amrita; Peeters, Ronald; Yuksel, Ayse Muge
  6. Taxing Top Earners: A Human Capital Perspective By Mark Huggett; Alejandro Badel
  7. Did Science Cause the Industrial Revolution? By O Grada, Cormac
  8. Sport participation and Child Development in Less Developed Countries By Pawlowski, Tim; Schüttoff, Ute; Downward, Paul; Lechner, Michael
  9. Risk-sharing or risk-taking? An incentive theory of counterparty risk, clearing and margins By Biais, Bruno; Heider, Florian; Hoerova, Marie
  10. How to reform western care payment systems according to physicians, policy makers, healthcare executives and researchers: A discrete choice experiment By KESSELS, Roselinde; VAN HERCK, Pieter; DANCET, Eline; ANNEMANS, Lieven; SERMEUS, Walter
  11. Money Doctors By Gennaioli, Nicola; Shleifer, Andrei; Vishny, Robert W.
  12. World Interest Rates, Inequality and Growth: an Empirical Analysis of the Galor-Zeira Model By Michele Battisti; Tamara Fioroni; Andrea Mario Lavezzi
  13. The quality of work dimensions. Results of a multivariate analysis from the Third Isfol Survey on Quality of work in Italy By Tindara Addabbo; Marco Centra; Maurizio Curtarelli; Marco Fuscaldo; Valentina Gualtieri
  14. «Must Reward Hard Work»? An Experiment on Personal Responsibility and Preferences for Redistribution By Sergio Beraldo; Massimiliano Piacenza; Gilberto Turati
  15. Birthplace diversity and productivity spill-overs in firms By René Böheim; Thomas Horvath; Karin Mayr

  1. By: Adel Ben Youssef (University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, France; GREDEG CNRS); Ludivine Martin (CEPS/INSTEAD – Luxembourg; CREM-CNRS Université de Rennes 1); Nessrine Omrani (Ecole Polytechnique & ADIS; Université Paris Sud)
    Abstract: This article investigates the relationship between Internet and computer use, new organizational practices and workers’ contextual performance in the European context. Our empirical results are based on data about more than 11,000 employees from 16 European countries in 2005 and more than 16,000 in 2010. First, we find asymmetric effects of IT use. Internet use is, indeed, positively related to all aspects of contextual performance in 2010, while computer use has been positively associated with contextual performance in 2005 but not in 2010. Second, we find that most of the considered new organizational practices have a positive relationship with employees’ contextual performance.
    Keywords: Contextual Performance, Information Technologies, New Organizational Practices, European workers
    JEL: J81 M12 M54 L23
    Date: 2014–10
  2. By: Elise Huillery (Département d'économie); Juliette Seban (Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: Performance-based financing becomes a common strategy to improve health sector quality. The findings of this paper imply that performance-based financing should take motivational effects and levels of provider capacity into account. Using a field experiment in the Democratic Republic of Congo, we find that financial incentives led to more effort from health workers on rewarded activities, without deterring effort on non-rewarded activities. We also find a shift from intrinsic to extrinsic motivation. Finally, the increased effort by health workers proved unsuccessful and led to a reduction in revenue, suggesting that health workers lacked the capacity to develop appropriate strategies to perform.
    Date: 2014–10
  3. By: Davide Antonioli; Paolo Pini; Roberto Antonietti
    Abstract: The aim of this paper is to analyse the link between flexible pay systems (FPS) and labour productivity, with a close look at wage premium determinants as elements disclosing specific managerial strategies. The analysis was conducted on a sample of more than 500 manufacturing firms located in the Emilia-Romagna region, Italy. Results show that the adoption of flexible pay schemes is linked to union involvement and organizational changes within the firm, supporting the idea that flexible wages do not constitute merely an economic premium, but a more complex strategy aimed at increasing employees’ flexibility and autonomy. Notwithstanding the positive effects on productivity, the relation with economic performance does not emerge as extremely innovative. On the one hand, it is driven by a traditional form of premiums (PRP) targeted to individual employees and linked to a simple “effort improvement and control†motivation and “ability to pay†of the firm. On the other, it is driven by premiums (PFP) provided ex-ante and aimed at developing employees’ participation and competencies
    Keywords: performance related pay; pay for participation; organizational innovation; industrial relations; labour productivity
    JEL: J24 J33 J51
    Date: 2014–10–08
  4. By: Swarnodeep Homroy
    Abstract: A large body of literature suggests that CEOs have misaligned incentives to undertake acquisitions in an attempt to increase their pay. This paper shows that the likelihood of post-acquisition CEO turnover can act as a constraint on such incentives. The acquisition premium in pay decreases by 50% if the likelihood of post-acquisition turnover is controlled for. This suggests a significant survivor bias in previous estimates of acquisition premium. Given a smaller pay premium for undertaking acquisitions and non-zero risk of dismissal, a risk-averse agent may not have strong incentives to undertake an acquisition for the marginal pay increase. The likelihood of dismissal seems to carry stronger incentive effects than post-acquisition pay increase.
    Keywords: Agency problem, mergers and acquisitions, CEO pay, Severance
    JEL: G34 J31 J33 M52
    Date: 2014
  5. By: Dhillon, Amrita (King's College London); Peeters, Ronald (Maastricht University); Yuksel, Ayse Muge (Maastricht University)
    Abstract: The use of social networks in the workplace has been documented by many authors, although the reasons for their widespread prevalence are less well known. In this paper we present evidence based on a combined eld-laboratory experiment that social networks are used by employers to reduce worker moral hazard. The worker chooses an eort level given a xed wage under dierent settings of social proximity. Social proximity is captured using actual Facebook friendship information revealed anonymously to subjects once they have been recruited. Since employers themselves do not have access to social connections, they delegate the decision to referrers who can select among workers with dierent degrees of social proximity to themselves. We show that employers choose referrals over anonymous hiring about 80% of the time. In keeping with our predictions, referrers also choose workers with a greater social proximity to themselves and workers who are closer to referrers indeed pay back more to the referrer. The advantage of the lab setting is that we can isolate moral hazard and directed altruism as the main driving forces for these results.
    Keywords: Eciency wage contracts, Moral hazard, Dictator game, Referrals, Altruism, Reciprocity, Directed altruism, Social proximity, Facebook, Experiment, Social networks, Strength of ties, Spot market.
    Date: 2014
  6. By: Mark Huggett (Department of Economics, Georgetown University); Alejandro Badel (Research Division, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
    Abstract: We assess the consequences of substantially increasing the marginal tax rate on U.S. top earners using a human capital model. The top of the model Laffer curve occurs at a 53 percent top tax rate. Tax revenues and the tax rate at the top of the Laffer curve are smaller compared to an otherwise similar model that ignores the possibility of skill change in response to a tax reform. We also show that if one applies the methods used by Diamond and Saez (2011) to provide quantitative guidance for setting the tax rate on top earners to model data then the resulting tax rate exceeds the tax rate at the top of the model Laffer curve.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Marginal Tax Rates, Inequality, Laffer Curve
    JEL: D91 E21 H2 J24
    Date: 2014–07–23
  7. By: O Grada, Cormac (University College Dublin)
    Keywords: economic history, science, human capital
    Date: 2014
  8. By: Pawlowski, Tim; Schüttoff, Ute; Downward, Paul; Lechner, Michael
    Abstract: Previous research in developed countries suggests that sports participation can positively influence child development. We use panel data of a cohort of 658 children in Peru to test this relationship in a less developed country where conditions for child development are worse. To identify the causal effect of children’s sport participation we exploit the panel structure of our data together with using propensity score matching. Our findings suggest that participation in a sports group has positive impacts on two of the key factors that are identified in the literature as central to child development, i.e. subjective health and social capital.
    Keywords: Social capital, Human capital, Well-being, Health, Group participation, Sports
    JEL: C14 D12 I21 J24
    Date: 2014–10
  9. By: Biais, Bruno; Heider, Florian; Hoerova, Marie
    Abstract: Derivatives activity, motivated by risk-sharing, can breed risk taking. Bad news about the risk of the asset underlying the derivative increases the expected liability of a protection seller and undermines her risk prevention incentives. This limits risk-sharing, and may create endogenous counterparty risk and contagion from news about the hedged risk to the balance sheet of protection sellers. Margin calls after bad news can improve protection sellers incentives and enhance the ability to share risk. Central clearing can provide insurance against counterparty risk but must be designed to preserve risk-prevention incentives.
    Keywords: Hedging; Insurance; Derivatives; Moral hazard; Risk management;Counterparty risk; Contagion; Central clearing; Margin requirements
    JEL: D82 G21 G22
    Date: 2014–06
  10. By: KESSELS, Roselinde; VAN HERCK, Pieter; DANCET, Eline; ANNEMANS, Lieven; SERMEUS, Walter
    Abstract: Background: Many developed countries are reforming healthcare payment systems in order to limit costs and improve clinical outcomes. Knowledge on how different groups of professional stakeholders trade off the merits and downsides of healthcare payment systems is limited. Methods: Using a discrete choice experiment we asked a sample of physicians, policy makers, healthcare executives and researchers from Canada, Europe, Oceania, and the United States to choose between profiles of hypothetical outcomes on eleven healthcare performance objectives which may arise from a healthcare payment system reform. We used a Bayesian D-optimal design with partial profiles, which enables studying a large number of attributes, i.e. the eleven performance objectives, in the experiment. Results: Our findings suggest that (a) moving from current payment systems to a value-based system is supported by physicians, despite an income trade-off, if effectiveness and long term cost containment improve. (b) Physicians would gain in terms of overall objective fulfillment in Eastern Europe and the US, but not in Canada, Oceania and Western Europe. Finally, (c) such payment reform more closely aligns the overall fulfillment of objectives between stakeholders such as physicians versus healthcare executives. Conclusions: Although the findings should be interpreted with caution due to the potential selection effects of participants, it seems that the value driven nature of newly proposed and/or introduced care payment reforms is more closely aligned with what stakeholders choose in some health systems, but not in others. Future studies, including the use of random samples, should examine the contextual factors that explain such differences in values and buy-in.
    Keywords: Healthcare payment systems, Healthcare performance objectives, Physician incentive structures, Health policy reform, Discrete choice experiment
    JEL: C90 C99 E61 I11 I18 O57
    Date: 2014–10
  11. By: Gennaioli, Nicola; Shleifer, Andrei; Vishny, Robert W.
    Abstract: We present a new model of money management, in which investors delegate portfolio management to professionals based not only on performance, but also on trust. Trust in the manager reduces an investor’s perception of the riskiness of a given investment, and allows managers to charge higher fees to investors who trust them more. Money managers compete for investor funds by setting their fees, but because of trust the fees do not fall to costs. In the model, 1) managers consistently underperform the market net of fees but investors still prefer to delegate money management to taking risk on their own, 2) fees involve sharing of expected returns between managers and investors, with higher fees in riskier products, 3) managers pander to investors when investors exhibit biases in their beliefs, and do not correct misperceptions, and 4) despite long run benefits from better performance, the profits from pandering to trusting investors discourage managers from pursuing contrarian strategies relative to the case with no trust. We show how trust-mediated money management renders arbitrage less effective, and may help destabilize financial markets.
    Date: 2014
  12. By: Michele Battisti; Tamara Fioroni; Andrea Mario Lavezzi
    Abstract: Following Galor and Zeira (1993), we study the effect of the world interest rate on inequality and growth for the period 1985-2005, char- acterized by falling world interest rates and cross-country income po- larization. We argue that the two phenomena are related on the basis of the following findings, which are in accordance with the predictions of the Galor and Zeira model: 1) a reduction of the world interest rates increases inequality in rich countries and decreases inequality in poor countries; 2) inequality has a negative (and significant) effect on hu- man capital accumulation in rich countries and a positive (but mostly not significant) effect in poor countries; 3) human capital positively affects GDP in both group of countries, in particular with a higher marginal effect in poor countries. The overall effect of these facts is polarization in the world income distribution.
    Keywords: Inequality, Human Capital, Economic Growth, Multiple Equilibria, World Interest Rates.
    JEL: C33 O15 O16 O47
    Date: 2014–09–01
  13. By: Tindara Addabbo; Marco Centra; Maurizio Curtarelli; Marco Fuscaldo; Valentina Gualtieri
    Abstract: This paper starts with an overview of the theoretical framework on quality of work and identifies five relevant dimensions, in line with Gallino & La Rosa: ergonomic, complexity, autonomy, control and economic dimensions. The above dimensions are described and measured by means of multivariate analysis to detect differences in terms of the factors affecting the level of the quality of work dimensions achieved. The data set that we use for this purpose is the Third Isfol Survey on Quality of Work (IsfolQdL) that has been carried out in 2010 on a sample of 5,000 workers and operationalizes the five dimensions of the quality of work. The results of the multivariate analysis confirm the worse achievements in terms of quality of work by temporary workers and lower skilled workers and lower level of achievements by women in the economic and autonomy dimensions. Women are also more likely to be found in part-time work positions and the latter show an improvement in the ergonomic dimension (that includes also work life balance) at the expenses of the economic and autonomy dimensions.
    Keywords: quality of work, multidimensional perspective, gender, skill
    JEL: J28 J22 J16
    Date: 2013–10
  14. By: Sergio Beraldo (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF); Massimiliano Piacenza (Università di Torino); Gilberto Turati (Università di Torino)
    Abstract: This study designs a laboratory experiment to investigate the link between personal responsibility and individual preferences for redistribution. We contribute to the literature by considering two key insights: first, effort is costly; second, its fruits can be grasped only in the future. Participants face a crucial trade-off between providing a costly effort or free-riding on their fellows’ effort, playing in a context where the size and the distribution of the pie depend both on circumstances beyond their control, and on their choice of working hard and voting for redistribution. Our findings suggest that people tend to reward effort: the demand for redistribution decreases when the observed average effort in the society increases and the cost of effort is higher. Moreover, people ask for less redistribution the more they are interested in the future. These results hold controlling for a number of other possible determinants of the preferences for redistribution
    Keywords: income redistribution, personal responsibility, individual effort, social mobility, inter-temporal preferences
    JEL: C91 D63 D91 H24 H31
    Date: 2014–10–18
  15. By: René Böheim; Thomas Horvath; Karin Mayr
    Abstract: We determine workforce composition and wages in firms in the presence of productivity spill-overs between co-workers. In equilibrium, workers' wages depend on the production struc- ture of firms, own group size, and aggregate workforce composition in the firm. We estimate the wage effects of workforce diversity and own group size by birthplace and the implied pro- duction structure in Austrian firms using a comprehensive matched employer-employee data set. In our data, we identify a positive effect of workforce diversity and a negative effect of own group size on wages, which suggest that workers of different birthplaces are complements in production on average.
    Keywords: workforce composition, productivity spill-overs, worker group size
    JEL: D21 D22 F22 J31
    Date: 2014–08

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