nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2015‒07‒18
ten papers chosen by
Tommaso Reggiani
Universität zu Köln

  1. Worker Reciprocity and the Returns to Training: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Sauermann, Jan
  2. Individual and Workplace-Specific Determinants of Paid and Unpaid Overtime Work in Germany By Ines Zapf
  3. Gender Interaction in Teams: Experimental Evidence on Performance and Punishment Behavior By Jung , Seeun; Vranceanu, Radu
  4. Not Working at Work: Loafing, Unemployment and Labor Productivity By Michael C. Burda; Katie Genadek; Daniel S. Hamermesh;
  5. More effort with less pay: On information avoidance, belief design and performance By Huck, Steffen; Szech, Nora; Wenner, Lukas M.
  6. A Signal of Diligence? Student Work Experience and Later Employment Chances By Baert, Stijn; Rotsaert, Olivier; Verhaest, Dieter; Omey, Eddy
  7. Trial-Based Tournament: Rank and Earnings By Pongou, Roland; Tchantcho, Bertrand; Tedjeugang, Narcisse
  8. Why the Referential Treatment: Evidence from Field Experiments on Referrals By Amanda Pallais; Emily Glassberg Sands
  9. Organizing for Change: Preference diversity, effort incentives, and separation of decision and execution By ITOH Hideshi
  10. Agribusiness Firm Resources and Performance: The Mediating Role of Strategic Management Practices By Dominic, Theresia; Theuvsen, Ludwig

  1. By: Sauermann, Jan (SOFI, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Workers' reciprocal behavior is one argument used to explain why firms invest in employee human capital. We explore the relation between firm-sponsored training and reciprocity by providing evidence that workers reciprocate employer training investments by making greater effort. Using a field experiment with random assignment to a training program, we show that reciprocal workers have significantly higher performance than their non-reciprocal peers after participation in the training course. This result suggests that reciprocal workers exert greater effort in response to the firm's investment.
    Keywords: firm-sponsored training, reciprocity, field experiment
    JEL: J24 M53 D01
    Date: 2015–07
  2. By: Ines Zapf
    Abstract: In Germany, overtime work is a well-established instrument for varying working hours of employees and is of great importance for establishments as a measure of internal flexibility. However, not all employees are affected to the same degree by a variation of the work effort through overtime work. Besides socio-demographic factors, workplace-specific factors that provide information about the position of employees in the establishment play an important role, too. So far, we do not know enough how these workplace-specific factors are associated with overtime work. This question is at the center of this study. In the analysis, women and part-time employees are taken into account, while previous studies mostly focused on full-time employees and/or male workers. On the basis of the data of the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP), the results show a significant negative correlation between women and paid overtime and between part-time employees and unpaid overtime. If the employees performance is regularly assessed by a superior, paid overtime is less likely, while unpaid overtime becomes more likely. In executive positions, there is a significant positive correlation with paid and unpaid overtime work. Unpaid overtime is more likely with a growing autonomy in the employees’ workplace, whereas paid overtime becomes less likely. However, the length of the training period on the job as well as job related burdens due to a job at risk and a limited employment contract seem to have no association with paid or unpaid overtime.
    Keywords: Overtime work, internal flexibility
    JEL: J21 J24 J81
    Date: 2015
  3. By: Jung , Seeun (ESSEC Business School and THEMA); Vranceanu, Radu (ESSEC Business School and THEMA)
    Abstract: This paper reports results from a real-eort experiment in which men and women are paired to form a two-member team and asked to execute a real-effort task. Each participant receives an equal share of the team's output. Workers who perform better than their partner can punish him/her by imposing a fi ne. We manipulate the teams' gender composition (man-man, man-woman, and woman-woman) to analyze whether an individual's performance and sanctioning behavior depends on his/her gender and the gender interaction within the team. The data show that, on average, men perform slightly better than women. A man's performance will deteriorate when paired with a woman, while a woman's performance will improve when paired with a woman. When underperforming, women are sanctioned more often and more heavily than men; if sanctioned, men tend to improve their performance, while women's performance does not change.
    Keywords: Gender studies; Real-effort task; Team production; Performance; Punishment; Discrimination
    JEL: C91 J16 M52
    Date: 2015–07
  4. By: Michael C. Burda; Katie Genadek; Daniel S. Hamermesh;
    Abstract: Using the American Time Use Survey (ATUS) 2003-12, we estimate time spent by workers in non-work while on the job. Non-work time is substantial and varies positively with the local unemployment rate. While the average time spent by workers in non-work conditional on any positive non-work rises with the unemployment rate, the fraction of workers who report time in non-work varies pro-cyclically, declining in recessions. These results are consistent with a model in which heterogeneous workers are paid efficiency wages to refrain from loafing on the job. That model correctly predicts relationships of the incidence and conditional amounts of non-work with wage rates and measures of unemployment benefits in state data linked to the ATUS, and it is consistent with observed occupational differences in non-work.
    Keywords: time use, non-work, loafing, shirking, efficiency wage, labor productivity
    JEL: J22 E24
    Date: 2015–07
  5. By: Huck, Steffen; Szech, Nora; Wenner, Lukas M.
    Abstract: In a tedious real effort task, agents can choose to receive information about their piece rate that is either low or ten times higher. One third of subjects deliberately decide to forego this instrumental information, revealing a preference for information avoidance. Strikingly, agents who face uncertainty about their wage outperform all others, including those who know that their wage is high. This also holds for enforced uncertainty. We demonstrate that all our findings can be captured by a model of optimally distorted expectations following Brunnermeier and Parker (2005).
    Keywords: Optimal Expectations,Belief Design,Performance,,Real Effort Task
    JEL: D83 D84 J31 M52
    Date: 2015
  6. By: Baert, Stijn (Ghent University); Rotsaert, Olivier (Ghent University); Verhaest, Dieter (KU Leuven); Omey, Eddy (Ghent University)
    Abstract: We investigate the impact of student work experience on later hiring chances. To completely rule out potential endogeneity, we present a field experiment in which various forms of student work experience are randomly disclosed by more than 1000 fictitious graduates applying for jobs in Belgium. Theoretical mechanisms are investigated by estimating heterogeneous treatment effects by the relevance and timing of revealed student work experience. We find that neither form of student work experience enhances initial recruitment decisions. For a number of candidate subgroups (by education level and occupation type), even an adverse effect is found.
    Keywords: student employment, transitions in youth, human capital, signaling, randomised field experiments
    JEL: J24 I21 D83 C93
    Date: 2015–07
  7. By: Pongou, Roland; Tchantcho, Bertrand; Tedjeugang, Narcisse
    Abstract: Trial-based tournament is a widespread hiring mechanism in organizations. Upon a job opening, an applicant is tried out at the job, then swaps with another competing applicant, and so on, with each non-competing worker holding the same position across trials. The job is offered to the applicant whose trial has had the most positive effect on the organization's output. We formalize this tournament model, deriving measures of relative performance that can be used to rank workers for each job and assess their comparative advantage when absolute performance cannot be observed. As a second goal, we study the relationship between tournament rank and earnings as determined by marginal productivity. We show that pay is a weakly increasing function of tournament rank, and we characterize organizations for which pay strictly reflects tournament rank and vice-versa. These organizations are linear and top-down biased, and they strictly include the popular class of von Neumann-Morgenstern organizations. The analysis implies that hierarchical organizations that promote fairness in pay should not have too many layers.
    Keywords: Hierarchical organizations, trial-based tournament, tournament rank, marginal productivity, top-down biased organizations.
    JEL: C7 D03 L2 M5
    Date: 2015–06–01
  8. By: Amanda Pallais; Emily Glassberg Sands
    Abstract: Referred workers are more likely than non-referred workers to be hired, all else equal. In three field experiments in an online labor market, we examine why. We find that referrals contain positive information about worker performance and persistence that is not contained in workers' observable characteristics. We also find that referrals performed particularly well when working directly with their referrers. However, we do not find evidence that referrals exert more effort because they believe their performance will affect their relationship with their referrer or their referrer's position at the firm.
    JEL: C93 J24 J63 M51
    Date: 2015–07
  9. By: ITOH Hideshi
    Abstract: We study the decision process of an organization that faces a problem of choosing between the status quo project ("no change") and the new project ("change"). The organization consists of a decision maker and an implementer. The implementer first chooses a costly effort to develop a new project. If it is developed, the decision maker formally selects either the status quo project or the new project. Otherwise, only the status quo project is available (and is selected). The implementer then chooses an implementation effort to execute the selected project. Both the decision maker and the implementer have intrinsic and possibly divergent preferences over two projects that are either status-quo-biased (anti-changer) or change-biased (pro-changer). The owner of the organization must choose one of four feasible organizational forms: both status-quo-biased, both change-biased, a status-quo-biased decision maker and a change-biased implementer, and a change-biased decision maker and a status-quo-biased implementer. We analyze how the organizational form affects the decision maker's project selection, the implementer's implementation motive, and his incentive to develop a new project, and solves for the organization optimal for the unbiased owner.
    Date: 2015–07
  10. By: Dominic, Theresia; Theuvsen, Ludwig
    Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between firm resources, strategic management practices and firm performance of small agribusiness firms. Looking at level of managerial expertise and access to market information as primary resources, this research presents various arguments about their contribution to firm performance. The objective is to demonstrate the role of strategic management practices in facilitating the effective use of these resources to achieve agribusiness firm performance. Results from a structural equation model using a sample of 229 agribusiness firms from Tanzania indicate that the investigated resources alone do not directly contribute to firm performance unless there is application of strategic management as a potential mediator. Further investigation based on multigroup analysis shows contingency effects in the resources-performance relationship but significant influence of application of strategic management practices on performance across all groups of firms. The results imply that managers ought to identify a fit between their resources and strategic actions in order to enhance firm performance. The study provides manifold managerial implications for small firms that seek to improve firm performance.
    Keywords: Structural modelling, firm resources, strategic management practices, small firm performance, mediation analysis, Tanzania, Agribusiness, Agricultural and Food Policy, Labor and Human Capital, Marketing, Q13, Q18, M31, J24,
    Date: 2015–03

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