nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒02‒05
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Diversity and social capital within the workplace: evidence from Britain By Thomas Breda; Alan Manning
  2. Does Job Support Make Workers Happy? By Böckerman, Petri; Bryson, Alex; Kauhanen, Antti; Kangasniemi, Mari
  3. The German Management and Organizational Practices (GMOP) Survey : Survey design and data quality By Broszeit, Sandra; Laible, Marie-Christine
  4. Women's Economic Capacity and Children's Human Capital Accumulation By de Hoop, Jacobus; Premand, Patrick; Rosati, Furio C.; Vakis, Renos
  5. Internet use and job satisfaction By Fulvio Castellacci; Clara Viñas-Bardolet
  6. The contributions of Hart and Holmström to Contract Theory By László Á. Kóczy; János Kiss Hubert
  7. Would I lie to you? Strategic deception in the face of uncertain penalties By Cardak, Buly A; Neelim, Ananta; Vecci, Joseph; Wu, Kevin
  8. Physician ethics: undermined or enhanced by modes of payment? By Zweifel, Peter; Janus, Katharina
  9. Gender Differences in Competitive Positions, Experimental Evidence on Job Promotion By Emmanuel Perterle; Holger A. Rau

  1. By: Thomas Breda; Alan Manning
    Abstract: This paper uses the British Workplace Employee Relations Survey to investigate the impact of gender and ethnic diversity on workers’ level of trust in managers and the extent of identity with the values and objectives of the firm – dimensions of what we might call social capital within the workplace. These are both factors that one might expect to make firms more co-operative and, hence, productive. In contrast to much of the existing literature we pay particular attention to the estimation of causal effects, using an instrumental variable strategy. We find evidence that both women and minorities have higher levels of workplace trust and identity as individuals. But we also find evidence that a higher female share in the plant is associated with higher trust and identity (stronger for trust than identity) and that a higher minority share is associated lower trust and identity (stronger for identity than trust). However, in line with much of the literature, these results are not always significantly different from zero and they are sensitive to specification.
    Keywords: trust; identity; diversity; workplace
    JEL: M5
    Date: 2016–12
  2. By: Böckerman, Petri (Labour Institute for Economic Research); Bryson, Alex (University College London); Kauhanen, Antti (ETLA - The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy); Kangasniemi, Mari (Labour Institute for Economic Research)
    Abstract: Using linked employer-employee data for Finland we examine associations between job design and ten measures of worker wellbeing. In accordance with Karasek's (1979) model we find positive correlations between many aspects of worker wellbeing and job control. However, contrary to the model, job demands have no adverse effects on worker wellbeing. We find a strong positive correlation between job support and all aspects of worker wellbeing that is independent of job controls and job demands, a finding that has not been emphasized in the literature. The effects are most pronounced in relation to supervisor support. We also find evidence of unemployment scarring effects: substantial experience of unemployment has long-term consequences for the wellbeing workers experience in their current jobs, even controlling for the quality of those jobs.
    Keywords: worker wellbeing, job control, job demands, job support, job design, supervisors, job satisfaction, stress, HRM, unemployment, scarring effects
    JEL: J28 J8 L23 M54
    Date: 2017–01
  3. By: Broszeit, Sandra; Laible, Marie-Christine (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: The German Management and Organizational Practices (GMOP) is the first large-scale survey that systematically investigates the use of management practices in German establishments. The data includes information on over 1,900 establishments for the years 2008 and 2013 and allows detailed analyses on the relationship between management practices and firm performance. Linked with administrative individual and establishment data, the GMOP can be used by external researches. Providing an overview of the survey and data quality, this paper is a point of reference for analyses based on the GMOP. We describe the questionnaire design and important steps of the field phase. Further, data quality issues with a special focus on sample selection, response rates and representativeness are discussed. As informed consent to linkage is legally required in Germany, we additionally analyze which respondents are most likely to consent.
    Date: 2017–01–16
  4. By: de Hoop, Jacobus (UNICEF Office of Research, Innocenti); Premand, Patrick (World Bank); Rosati, Furio C. (University of Rome Tor Vergata); Vakis, Renos (World Bank)
    Abstract: Programs that increase the economic capacity of poor women can have cascading effects on children's participation in school and work that are theoretically undetermined. We present a simple model to describe the possible channels through which these programs may affect children's activities. Based on a cluster-randomized trial, we examine how a program providing capital and training to women in poor rural communities in Nicaragua affected children. Children in beneficiary households are more likely to attend school one year after the end of the intervention. An increase in women's influence on household decisions appears to contribute to the program's beneficial effect on school attendance.
    Keywords: women's economic capacity, female empowerment, Nicaragua, child labor, human capital accumulation, field experiment
    JEL: D13 H43 I25 J22 J24 O15 O22 Q12
    Date: 2017–01
  5. By: Fulvio Castellacci (University of Oslo); Clara Viñas-Bardolet (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)
    Abstract: Does the use of Internet for professional purposes foster job satisfaction? We argue that Internet use affects well-being at work in an indirect manner: it mediates the effect of some important work characteristics on job satisfaction. Specifically, we focus on six main dimensions previously investigated in the literature – income, education, occupation type, autonomy, time pressure and social interactions – and we develop new hypothesis on how Internet use interacts with these factors. To test these hypotheses, we use data on more than 60,000 workers from the European Working Conditions Survey (EWCS), and estimate a bivariate ordered probit econometric model. The results point out that Internet technologies enhance job satisfaction by improving access to data and information, creating new activities and opportunities, and facilitating communication and social interactions. However, the results also suggest that these positive effects are skewed. Workers in some specific occupations, and with higher income and education levels, tend to benefit relatively more from the Internet vis-a-vis workers in other sectors that are more weakly related to ICTs activities.
    Date: 2017–01
  6. By: László Á. Kóczy (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and and Keleti Faculty of Business and Management, Óbuda University); János Kiss Hubert (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: The 2016 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was awarded to Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmström for their work on contract theory. Contract theory is a subfield of game theory where the conflict between the owner - the principal - and the CEO - or agent is at the centre of interest. In the following we explain the principal-agent model of Holmström with some extensions and then look at the property right aspects of these models based on Hart's work. Although the two researchers are recognised for their theoretical work, in our simple introduction we avoid complex formulae and illustrate the models with examples.
    Keywords: contract theory, incentives, principal-agent problem, Nobel prize, risk, property rights JEL Codes: C72, D82, D86
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Cardak, Buly A (Department of Economics and Finance, La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University); Neelim, Ananta (School of Economics, Finance and Marketing, RMIT University); Vecci, Joseph (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University); Wu, Kevin (Department of Economics, Monash University, Australia)
    Abstract: Using an experiment we investigate the effect of different centralised punishment mechanisms on deception and beliefs about deception in a principal-agent interaction that resembles many everyday expert advisor - client relationships. Agents have private information to transmit to Principals who must decide whether to follow Agent advice. Across our treatments, Agents face a range of expected penalties for deceptive behaviour with varying severity and monitoring probability. The Bayesian Nash equilibrium of the principal-agent interaction predicts penalties to have no effect on Agent behaviour. We find the magnitude of penalties to have important deterrent effects on deceptive Agent behaviour while Agents do not respond to changes in monitoring probabilities. Principal following behaviour increases in response to high penalties. However, it is unaffected by equivalent increases in monitoring. To help us understand the mechanism through which penalties deter deceptive behaviour, we test whether framing activates norms, providing an additional deterrence effect. We find norms are only activated by large penalties, providing a possible explanation for the impact of penalties on deceptive behaviour.
    Keywords: Punishment; Deception; Principal Agent; Norm Induced Behaviour
    JEL: C91 K42 L51
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Zweifel, Peter; Janus, Katharina
    Abstract: Background: In the medical literature ((Begley (1987), Gervais et al. (1999), American Academy of Dermatology (2000)), the view prevails that any change away from fee-for-service (FFS) jeopardizes medical ethics, defined as motivational preference in this article. The objective of this contribution is to test this hypothesis by first developing two theoretical models of behavior, building on the pioneering works of Ellis and McGuire (1986) and Pauly and Redisch (1973). Medical ethics is reflected by a parameter α which indicates how much importance the physician attributes to patient well-being relative to his or her own income. Accordingly, a weakening of ethical orientation amounts to a fall in the value of α. While economic theory traditionally takes preferences as predetermined, such a change is possible in the light of Evolutionary Economics (Bolle, 2000). Methods: The model based on Ellis and McGuire (1986) depicts the behavior of a physician in private practice, while the one based on Pauly and Redisch (1973) applies to providers who share resources such as in hospital or group practice. Two changes in the mode of payment are analyzed, one from FFS to prospective payment (PP), the other, to pay-for-performance (P4P). One set of predictions relates physician effort to a change in the mode of payment; another, physician effort to a change in α, the parameter reflecting ethics. Using these two relationships, a change in ethics can observationally be related to a change in the mode of payment. The predictions derived from the models are pitted against several case studies from diverse countries. Results: A shift from FFS to PP is predicted to give rise to a negative observed relationship between medical ethics of physicians in private practice under a wide variety of circumstances, more so than a shift to P4P, which can even be seen as enhancing medical ethics provided physician effort has a sufficiently high marginal effectiveness in terms of patient well-being. This prediction is confirmed to a considerable degree by circumstantial evidence coming from the case studies. As to physicians working in hospital or group practice, the prediction is again that an observer will infer that a transition in hospital payment from FFS to PP weakens their ethical orientation. However, this prediction is not fully borne out; a likely reason is that hospitals also differ strongly in terms of their organizational culture, a factor that is not held constant in the case studies. A transition to P4P may lead observers to conclude that it actually enhances medical ethics of healthcare providers working in hospital or group practice. This prediction receives a degree of empirical support from the case studies. Conclusion: The claim that moving away from FFS undermines medical ethics is far too sweeping. It can only in part be justified by observed relationships, which even may suggest that a transition to P4P strengthens medical ethics.
    JEL: I11 J44 D64
    Date: 2016
  9. By: Emmanuel Perterle (Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, CRESE); Holger A. Rau (University of Goettingen)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes gender differences in access to competitive positions. We implement an experiment where workers can apply for a job promotion by sending a signal to their employer. We control for gender differences in anticipation of discrimination in a treatment where a computer randomly recruits. Discriminatory behavior by the employer is isolated in a treatment where workers cannot send signals. We find that gender disparity among promoted workers is highest when workers can apply for promotion and employers recruit. Strikingly, the gender composition in competitive position is balanced in the absence of a signaling institution. When signaling is possible, we observe that female workers who do not request a promotion are discriminated against.
    Keywords: Experiment, Discrimination, Gender Differences, Real Effort.
    JEL: C9 J24 J70
    Date: 2017–01

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