nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒01‒08
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Trust the Police? Self-Selection of Motivated Agents into the German Police Force By Friebel, Guido; Kosfeld, Michael; Thielmann, Gerd
  2. Gender differences in absence from work: Lessons from two world wars By Karlsson, Tobias
  3. Locus of Control and Investment in Training By Caliendo, Marco; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Seitz, Helke; Uhlendorff, Arne
  4. Killer Incentives: Status Competition and Pilot Performance during World War II By Philipp Ager; Leonardo Bursztyn; Hans-Joachim Voth
  5. Job security and long-term investment: An experimental analysis By Gary Charness; Ramon Cobo-Reyes; Natalia Jimenez; J. Antonio Lacomba; Francisco Lagos
  6. Employee Representation and Flexible Working Time By Burdín, Gabriel; Pérotin, Virginie
  7. Work-life Balance Decision-making of Norwegian Students: Implications for Human Resources Management By Gawlik, Remigiusz; Jacobsen, Gorm
  8. Interfirm Relationships and Business Performance By Jing Cai; Adam Szeidl
  9. Does diversity in the payroll affect soccer teams’ performance? Evidence from the Italian Serie A By Caruso, Raul; Carlo, Bellavite Pellegrini; Marco, Di Domizio

  1. By: Friebel, Guido (Goethe University Frankfurt); Kosfeld, Michael (Goethe University Frankfurt); Thielmann, Gerd (Deutsche Hochschule der Polizei)
    Abstract: We conduct experimental games with police applicants in Germany to investigate whether intrinsically motivated agents self-select into public service. Our focus is on trustworthiness and the willingness to enforce norms as key dimensions of intrinsic motivation in the police context. We find that police applicants are more trustworthy than non-applicants, i.e., they return higher shares as second-movers in a trust game. Furthermore, they invest more in rewards and punishment when they can enforce cooperation as a third party. Our results provide clear evidence for advantageous self-selection into the German police force, documenting an important mechanism by which the match between jobs and agents in public service can be improved.
    Keywords: self-selection, intrinsic motivation, public service, trustworthiness, norm enforcement
    JEL: C9 D64 D73 J45
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Karlsson, Tobias (Department of Economic History, Lund University)
    Abstract: This paper traces the origins and early history of perceived gender differences in absenteeism in Great Britain and the USA. Among politicians and scholars, the problem was first articulated during World War I and reappeared as an issue of prime concern during World War II. The war efforts required mobilization and allocation of large numbers of women to jobs that had previously been done by men while maintaining high and continuous flows of production in an economy that was increasingly characterized by high capital intensity. The most common explanation of women’s higher levels of absenteeism was their double burden of wage work and unpaid household duties. Although researchers in the field were cautious to give policy recommendations, the studies on absenteeism revealed that ‘industrial fatigue’ could have negative effects on productivity and helped to motivate regulations on working hours. Studies on absenteeism also encouraged firms to professionalize personnel management and to reinforce apprehensions of differences between men and women as workers and employees. Some employers and other policy makers referred to gender differences in absenteeism to motivate wage discrimination.
    Keywords: absenteeism; gender; Great Britain; United States; World War I; World War II
    JEL: H56 J16 M54 N32 N34 N42 N44
    Date: 2016–12–16
  3. By: Caliendo, Marco (University of Potsdam); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Sydney); Seitz, Helke (University of Potsdam); Uhlendorff, Arne (CREST)
    Abstract: This paper extends standard models of work-related training by explicitly incorporating workers' locus of control into the investment decision. Our model both differentiates between general and specific training and accounts for the role of workers and firms in training decisions. Workers with an internal locus of control are predicted to engage in more general training than are their external co-workers because their subjective expected investment returns are higher. In contrast, we expect little relationship between specific training and locus of control because training returns largely accrue to firms rather than workers. We then empirically test the predictions of our model using data from the German Socioeconomic Panel (SOEP). We find that, consistent with our model, locus of control is related to participation in general but not specific training. Moreover, we provide evidence that locus of control influences participation in general training through its effect on workers' expectations about future wage increases. Specifically, general training is associated with a much larger increase in the expected likelihood of receiving a future pay raise for those with an internal rather than external locus of control, while we do not find any relationship in the case of specific training. Actual post-training wages for those who receive general or specific training do not depend on locus of control.
    Keywords: human capital investment, on-the-job training, locus of control, wage expectations
    JEL: J24 C23 D84
    Date: 2016–12
  4. By: Philipp Ager; Leonardo Bursztyn; Hans-Joachim Voth
    Abstract: A growing theoretical and empirical literature shows that public recognition can lead to greater effort amongst employees. At the same time, status competition can be associated with excessive expenditure on status goods, higher risk of bankruptcy, and more risk taking amongst money managers. In this paper, we look at the effects of recognition and status competition jointly: We focus on the spillover effects of public recognition on the performance and risk taking of peers. Using newly collected data on monthly victory scores of over 5,000 German pilots during World War II, we find corrosive effects of status competition: When the daily bulletin of the German armed forces mentioned the accomplishments of a particular fighter pilot, his former peers perform markedly better. Outperformance is differential across skill groups. When a former squadron peer is mentioned, the best pilots try harder, score more, and die no more frequently; average pilots win only a few additional victories, but die at a markedly higher rate. Our results suggest that the overall efficiency effects of non-financial rewards can be ambiguous in settings where both risk and output affect aggregate performance.
    JEL: D03 J20 N14 Z00
    Date: 2016–12
  5. By: Gary Charness (Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara); Ramon Cobo-Reyes (Department of Economics, University of Granada & University of Exeter Business School); Natalia Jimenez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide & Middlesex University); J. Antonio Lacomba (Departamento de Teoria e Historia Economica, University of Granada & Globe); Francisco Lagos (Departamento de Teoria e Historia Economica, University of Granada & Globe)
    Abstract: This article considers three different types of experimental labor contracts. A novel aspect of our experimental design is that workers have the chance of investing money in a long-term project in order to increase their income. We find a strong relationship between what happens inside the labor market (worker’s performance) and what happens outside the labor market (long-term investment). Long-term labor relationships seem to provide a safer environment for undertaking successful long-term projects. In the other direction, investing in long-term projects leads workers to improve their performance inside the labor market. We also introduce a new type of performance-based dismissal-barrier contract, whereby firms are required to retain workers if they have satisfied the effort level required by the firms. We find that performance-based dismissal barriers in the labor market leads to more long-term employment relationships and higher overall productivity.
    Keywords: Incomplete contracts, long-term relationships, renewable dismissal barriers, workers’ stability, investment and experiments.
    JEL: J41 J3 C91 D01
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Burdín, Gabriel (Leeds University Business School); Pérotin, Virginie (Leeds University Business School)
    Abstract: This paper provides evidence on the effect of employee representation on working time flexibility in private-sector European establishments. A 2002 European Union directive granted information, consultation and representation rights to employees on a range of key business, employment and work organization issues beyond a certain firm size. We exploit the quasi-experimental variation in employee representation introduced by the implementation of the Directive in four countries (Cyprus, Ireland, Poland and the UK) with no previous legislation on the subject. The empirical analysis is based on repeated cross-section establishment-level data from the last three rounds of the European Company Survey. Difference-in-difference estimates suggest that the Directive had a positive and significant effect on both employee representation and the utilisation of flexible working-time arrangements for eligible establishments. The greater use of flexible working-time schemes is driven by establishments in which no local wage-negotiations take place and those with a high proportion of female workers. Our results are consistent with the idea that employee representation provides an endogenous rule-enforcement mechanism in second-best scenarios in which incomplete contracting problems are pervasive and third-party arbitration is unfeasible. Quite paradoxically, the relaxation of shareholders' property rights and the limits imposed on managerial discretion as a result of the operation of employee representation seem necessary to achieve certain valuable forms of organizational flexibility in market economies.
    Keywords: employment, flexible working time, employee representation
    JEL: D23 J22 J50
    Date: 2016–12
  7. By: Gawlik, Remigiusz; Jacobsen, Gorm
    Abstract: Objective: The paper aims at identifying and assessing the significance of work-life balance determinants between the Youth of highly developed societies and its implications for human resources management on the example of Norway. Research Design & Methods: The research target group consists of 236 respondents recruited among Norwegian tertiary education students. It employed literature analysis , two-stage exploratory research: direct individual in-depth interviews, survey based on a self-administered, web-based questionnaire with single-answer, limited choice qualitative & quantitative, as well as explanatory research (informal moderated group discussions). Findings: The research on perceptions of determinants of quality of life and attractiveness of life strategies shows that in a country with relatively high socioeconomic development level, such as Norway, differences in rankings do exist. They can be observed in relevance to both material and non-material QoL determinants. Implications & Recommendations: The study revealed a need for deeper research on individually driven early decision-making of future employees and entrepreneurs. This will result in closer modelling of socioeconomic phenomena, including more accurate adaptation to trends on the labour market and creation of new business models. Contribution & Value Added: Research value added comes from the comparison of perceptions of quality of life determinants between countries at various stages of socioeconomic development and its implications for human resource management.
    Keywords: determinants of quality of life; work-life balance, qualitative-quantitative research; human resources; decision-making
    JEL: I31 J22 J24 O15
    Date: 2016–12–15
  8. By: Jing Cai; Adam Szeidl
    Abstract: We organized business associations for the owner-managers of randomly selected young Chinese firms to study the effect of business networks on firm performance. We randomized 2,800 firms into small groups whose managers held monthly meetings for one year, and into a “no- meetings” control group. We find that: (1) The meetings increased firm revenue by 8.1 percent, and also significantly increased profit, factors, inputs, the number of partners, borrowing, and a management score; (2) These effects persisted one year after the conclusion of the meetings; and (3) Firms randomized to have better peers exhibited higher growth. We exploit additional interventions to document concrete channels. (4) Managers shared exogenous business-relevant information, particularly when they were not competitors, showing that the meetings facilitated learning from peers. (5) Managers created more business partnerships in the regular than in other one-time meetings, showing that the meetings improved supplier-client matching. (6) Firms whose managers discussed management, partners, or finance improved more in the associated domain, suggesting that the content of conversations shaped the nature of gains.
    JEL: D22 L14 O12 O14
    Date: 2016–12
  9. By: Caruso, Raul; Carlo, Bellavite Pellegrini; Marco, Di Domizio
    Abstract: This paper empirically investigates the impact of diversity in wage levels of players on seasonal performances of teams in the top Italian soccer league, namely the Serie A . We explore the payroll of 32 professional football teams in the Italian Serie A to compute three measures of diversity and concentration in wage levels, namely the Gini, the Shannon and the Simpson indexes from season 2007/08 to 2015/16. We use the percentage of points achieved by teams as dependent variable, and then we employ panel data techniques estimating random and fixed effect models. We find that only the Simpson index is significantly associated with sport performance. In particular, it appears that sport performance improves as diversity in payroll decreases.
    Keywords: diversity in wage level, inequality, payroll and sport performance, Italian serie A
    JEL: L83 M52 Z1
    Date: 2016–12

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