nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2015‒12‒08
twelve papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Universität zu Köln

  1. Effects of Employee Social Capital on Wage Satisfaction, Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment By Christoph Hauser
  2. What drives motivated agents? The 'right' mission or sharing it with the principal By Tobias Regner; Hannes Koppel
  3. Multitask agents and incetives: the case of teaching and research for university professors By Marta De Philippis
  4. Stressed by your job: What is the role of personnel policy? By Michael Beckmann; Elena Shvartsman
  5. The use of fixed-term contracts and the (adverse) selection of public sector workers By Lucia Rizzica
  6. Work-family Conflict Moderates the Impact of Childbearing on Subjective Well-Being By Anna Matysiak; Letizia Mencarini; Daniele Vignoli
  7. Measuring the use of human resources practices and employee attitudes : the Linked Personnel Panel By Kampkötter, Patrick; Mohrenweiser, Jens; Sliwka, Dirk; Steffes, Susanne; Wolter, Stefanie
  8. The Threat of Corruption and the Optimal Supervisory Task By Alessandro De Chiara; Luca Livio
  9. The Return to College: Selection and Dropout Risk By Lutz Hendricks; Oksana Leukhina
  10. Unrealized gains: investing in our region's economic and human capital potential By Harker, Patrick T.
  11. Interlocked Executives and Insider Board Members: An Empirical Analysis By Gayle, George-Levi; Golan, Limor; Miller, Robert A.
  12. Are Competitors Forward Looking in Strategic Interactions? Evidence from the Field By Lackner, Mario; Stracke, Rudi; Sunde, Uwe; Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf

  1. By: Christoph Hauser
    Abstract: The article proposes that basic social attitudes and associational networks of employees influence their interaction with coworkers and managers at the workplace and thereby also shape work attitudes and behavior. Two terms are introduced to analyze this hypothesis: Civic Social Capital (denoting personal trust and associational activity) and Workplace Social Capital (social interaction with colleagues and trust towards management). Based on a survey of 1007 employees I demonstrate the impact of social trust and two forms of institutional trust (confidence towards national and regional institutions) on a composite index of workplace social capital. In addition, social and institutional trust also influence work related attitudes such as perception of a fair wage, job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Once workplace social capital is controlled for in regressions on work related attitudes, social trust becomes insignificant. Thus, workplace social capital serves as a transmission mechanism converting social trust in enhanced rates of both wage/job satisfaction and in particular organizational commitment. In contrast, confidence towards regional institutions exerts a sustained impact on work related attitudes that persists alongside the impact of social interaction with colleagues and management.
    Keywords: Civic Social Capital, Social Trust, Institutional Trust, Workplace Social Capital, Job Satisfaction, Organizational Commitment
    JEL: Z1 Z13 J24 J28
    Date: 2015–11
  2. By: Tobias Regner (School of Economics and Business Administration, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena); Hannes Koppel (Alfred Weber Institute of Economics, University of Heidelberg)
    Abstract: Motivated agents are characterized by increasing their effort if their work generates not only a monetary return for them but also a benefit for a mission they support. While their motivation may stem from working for their preferred (i.e., the `right') mission, it may also be the principal's choice of the right mission (i.e., a mission preference match) that motivates them. We investigate experimentally to what extent these two motivations are driving the effect of a mission on agent effort. We find that agents care not only about the mission as such but also whether the principal shares this mission. Our analysis estimates the additional effect of a mission preference match to be as big as the effect of just working for the right mission. It seems that the full potential of `motivation by mission' is realized only when principals share as well as support the agents' mission, stressing the importance of the economics of identity in labor market settings.
    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility, experiment, labor market, incentives, principal agent, identity, mission, motivated agents
    JEL: C91 D03 J01 M14 M52
    Date: 2015–12–01
  3. By: Marta De Philippis (Bank of Italy and London School of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the behavioural responses of multitask agents to the provision of incentives skewed towards one task only. It studies the effects of significant research incentives for university professors on the way university faculty members allocate their efforts between teaching and research and on the way they select different types of universities. I first obtain different individual-level measures of teaching and research performance. Then, I estimate a difference in differences model, exploiting a natural experiment that took place at Bocconi University, which significantly strengthened incentives towards research. I find evidence that teaching and research efforts are substitute inputs in the professors' cost function: the impact of research incentives is positive on research activity and negative on teaching performance. The effects are driven by career concerns rather than by monetary incentives. Moreover, under the new incentive regime, lower ability researchers tend to leave universities and since teaching and research ability are positively correlated, this implies that bad teachers also tend to leave universities.
    Keywords: multitasking, incentives, teaching
    JEL: I2 J41 M5
    Date: 2015–11
  4. By: Michael Beckmann; Elena Shvartsman (University of Basel)
    Abstract: Work-related stress can lead to substantial health problems and thereby resultin immense costs for establishments. Therefore, the question as to what extentestablishments contribute to their employees’ stress levels is of great importance for firm performance. We investigate the relationship between personnel policies and work-related stress by considering a series of personnel policies that refer to a worker’s job reward, job demand, or job control situation. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) we find statistically significant associations of several policies and work-related stress. Most importantly, bad promotion opportunities and low working time control turn out to be associated with higher stress levels, while the opposite is true for an adequate salary.
    Keywords: job stress, personnel policy, working conditions
    JEL: I10 J81 M54
    Date: 2015
  5. By: Lucia Rizzica (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: The paper seeks to investigate the relationship between job (in)security in the public sector and workers� self-selection between the private and public sector. Using data from the Italian Labour Force Survey for the years 2005-13, I show that a higher incidence of fixed-term contracts in the public sector has significant adverse selection effects in that it lowers the likelihood of workers of higher ability entering the public sector. Moreover, at least in some areas of the country, a lower relative probability of obtaining an open-ended position in the public sector decreases the likelihood that higher-ability, fixed-term workers remain in the public sector.
    Keywords: Public service delivery, incentives, selection, public sector personnel, occupational choices
    JEL: J24 O15 M54 D82
    Date: 2015–11
  6. By: Anna Matysiak; Letizia Mencarini; Daniele Vignoli
    Abstract: Many empirical studies find parents to be less happy than non-parents and parenthood to exert a negative effect on subjective well-being (SWB). We add to these findings by arguing that there is a key moderating factor that has been overlooked in previous research, the work-family conflict. In this paper we assesses the effect of parenthood on individuals’ SWB, taking into account that the birth of a child means an increase in work-family tensions, which may be substantial for some parents and relatively weak for others. To this end, we estimate fixed-effects models using panel data from the Household, Income and Labor Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) survey. We find that childbearing negatively affects SWB only when parents, and mothers, in particular, have to face a heavy work-family conflict.
    Keywords: work-family conflict, reconciliation of work and family, subjective well-being, life-satisfaction, Australia.
    JEL: I31 J13 J22
    Date: 2015
  7. By: Kampkötter, Patrick; Mohrenweiser, Jens; Sliwka, Dirk; Steffes, Susanne; Wolter, Stefanie (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "This paper introduces a new data source available for HRM researchers and personnel economists, the Linked Personnel Panel (LPP). The LPP is a longitudinal and representative employer-employee data set covering establishments in Germany and designed for quantitative empirical HR research. The LPP offers a unique structure. First, the data set combines employer and employee surveys that can be matched to each other. Second, it can also be linked to a number of additional administrative data sets. Third, the LPP covers a wide range of firms and workers from different backgrounds. Finally, because of its longitudinal dimension, the LPP should facilitate the study of causal effects of HR practices. The LPP employee survey uses a number of established scales to measure job characteristics and job perceptions, personal characteristics, employee attitudes towards the organisation and employee behaviour. This paper gives an overview of both the employer and employee survey and outlines the definitions, origins and statistical properties of the scales used in the individual questionnaire." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J24 J81 M12 M51 M52 M53 M54 M55
    Date: 2015–12–01
  8. By: Alessandro De Chiara; Luca Livio
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the task the supervisor should be optimally charged with in an agency modelin which the principal faces corruption concerns. We highlight a fundamental tradeoff between monitoringthe agent’s effort choice and auditing it ex-post. Monitoring proves more effective in tackling corruptionsince the supervisor sends the report before the profit realization. By taking advantage of the supervisor’suncertainty about the state of nature, the principal can design a compensation scheme which prevents allforms of corruption at a lower cost. Conversely auditing reduces the cost of supervision as the principalhires the supervisor only if the profit does not convey enough information about the compensation due tothe agent. We show that the ultimate choice between monitoring and auditing depends on the supervisor’sability to falsify information and the cost of performing an inspection.
    Keywords: auditing; collusion; corruption; extortion; monitoring; supervision
    JEL: D82 D86 L22
    Date: 2015–10
  9. By: Lutz Hendricks (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill); Oksana Leukhina (University of Washington)
    Abstract: This paper studies the effect of graduating from college on lifetime earnings. We develop a quantitative model of college choice with uncertain graduation. Departing from much of the literature, we model in detail how students progress through college. This allows us to parameterize the model using transcript data. College transcripts reveal substantial and persistent heterogeneity in students’ credit accumulation rates that are strongly related to graduation outcomes. From this data, the model infers a large ability gap between college graduates and high school graduates that accounts for 54% of the college lifetime earnings premium.
    Keywords: education, college premium, college dropout risk
    JEL: E24 J24 I21
    Date: 2015–11
  10. By: Harker, Patrick T. (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)
    Abstract: President Patrick T. Harker discusses investing in our region’s economic and human capital potential at Capital for Communities: Pay for Success Financing, a conference hosted by the Philadelphia Fed's Community Development Studies & Education Department.
    Keywords: Workforce; Economy; Human capital; Pay for success financing; Social impact bonds; Philadelphia
    Date: 2015–11–04
  11. By: Gayle, George-Levi (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Golan, Limor (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Miller, Robert A. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Abstract: This paper asked the question of whether the behavior and compensation of interlocked executives and non-independent board of directors are consistent with the hypothesis of governance problem or whether this problem is mitigated by implicit and market incentives. It then analyzes the role of independent board of directors. Empirically, we cannot reject the hypothesis that executives in companies with a large number of non-independent directors on the board receive the same expected compensation as other executives. In our model, every executive has an incentive to work. Placing more of non-independent directors on the board mitigates gross losses to the firm should any one of them shirk because they monitor each other. It also reduces the net benefits from shirking and increases the gross value of the firm from greater coordination (reflected in the firm’s equity value and thus impounded into its financial returns). Therefore having a greater non-independent director representation on the board create a more challenging signaling problem to solve thereby raising the risk premium. However, giving more votes on the board to non-independent executives fosters better executive working conditions, which in turn offsets the higher risk premium in pay by a lower certainty-equivalent wage in equilibrium. Thus, our estimates undergird a plausible explanation of how large shareholders determine the number of insiders on the board to maximize the expected value of their equity. We then conduct counterfactual policy experiment imposing 50% upper bound on the fraction of insiders on the board and another counterfactual imposing 40% quotas for women on the boards.
    JEL: G34 J24 J33 J41 J44 J63 L22 M12
    Date: 2015–11–27
  12. By: Lackner, Mario (Department of Economics, University of Linz (JKU)); Stracke, Rudi (Department of Economics, University of Munich (LMU)); Sunde, Uwe (Department of Economics, University of Munich (LMU)); Winter-Ebmer, Rudolf (Department of Economics, University of Linz (JKU) and Institute for Advanced Studies, Vienna)
    Abstract: This paper investigates empirically whether decision makers are forward looking in dynamic strategic interactions. In particular, we test whether decision makers in multi-stage tournaments take heterogeneity induced changes of continuation values and the ability of their immediate opponent into account when choosing effort. Using data from professional and semi-professional basketball tournaments, we find that effort is negatively affected by the ability of the current opponent, consistent with the theoretical prediction and previous evidence. More importantly, the results indicate that the expected relative strength in future interactions does affect behavior in earlier stages, which provides support for the 'standard' view that decision makers are forward looking in dynamic strategic interactions.
    Keywords: Promotion tournament, multi-stage contest, elimination, forward-looking behavior, heterogeneity
    JEL: D84 D90 M51 J33
    Date: 2015–11

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