nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒02‒12
ten papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Estimating Social Preferences and Gift Exchange at Work By Stefano DellaVigna; John List; Ulrike Malmendier; Gautam Rao
  2. The role of employer, job and employee characteristics for flexible working time : An empirical analysis of overtime work and flexible working hours' arrangements By Zapf, Ines; Weber, Enzo
  3. The Impact of Family Friendly Workplaces on Satisfaction and Work By Lauber, Verena; Storck, Johanna
  4. The Wage Effects of Regional Brain Gain and Brain Drain Revisited By Möller, Joachim; Eppelsheimer, Johann
  5. Corporate Governance and CEO Turnover Decisions By Theodosios Dimopoulos; Hannes F. Wagner
  6. Market Power, Contracts and Outcomes: The Case of Patients with Long-Term Diseases in the Colombian Health Care System By Juan Esteban Carranza; Álvaro J. Riascos; Natalia Serna
  7. Freemium pricing: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment By Julian Runge,; Stefan Wagner; Jörg Claussen; Daniel Klapper
  8. Project approach in the formation of human capital: formulation of the problem By Larisa Vladykina
  9. On the Effectiveness of Elected Male and Female Leaders and Team Coordination By Reuben, Ernesto; Timko, Krisztina
  10. The Effect of Trial Periods in Employment on Firm Hiring Behaviour By Nathan Chappell; Isabell Sin

  1. By: Stefano DellaVigna; John List; Ulrike Malmendier; Gautam Rao
    Abstract: We design a model-based field experiment to estimate the nature and magnitude of workers' social preferences towards their employers. We hire 446 workers for a one-time task. Within worker, we vary (i) piece rates; (ii) whether the work has payoffs only for the worker, or also for the employer; and (iii) the return to the employer. We then introduce a surprise increase or decrease in pay ('gifts') from the employer. We find that workers have substantial baseline social preferences towards their employers, even in the absence of repeated-game incentives. Consistent with models of warm glow or social norms, but not of pure altruism, workers exert substantially more effort when their work is consequential to their employer, but are insensitive to the precise return to the employer. Turning to reciprocity, we find little evidence of a response to unexpected positive (or negative) gifts from the employer. Our structural estimates of the social preferences suggest that, if anything, positive reciprocity in response to monetary 'gifts' may be larger than negative reciprocity. We revisit the results of previous field experiments on gift exchange using our model and derive a one-parameter expression for the implied reciprocity in these experiments.
    Date: 2016
  2. By: Zapf, Ines (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany]); Weber, Enzo (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: Modern working societies face the challenge to combine the establishments' with the employees' needs for working-time flexibility. The authors investigate the determinants of overtime and different working hours' arrangements using the German Linked Employer-Employee Study of the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP-LEE) and logistic regression models. The results show that employer and job characteristics are most important for determining overtime and the different working hours' arrangements, underlining the power of employers with regard to working-time flexibility. Employee characteristics play the least important role, although employees can flexibly organize their working times and can benefit from certain arrangements, such as self-determined working hours and flexitime within a working hours account. The study provides evidence that working-time flexibility in Germany is mainly employer-oriented. However, through demographic changes and a possible lack of qualified personnel, employee- friendly arrangements are likely to gain importance.
    JEL: J2 J81
    Date: 2017–02–06
  3. By: Lauber, Verena; Storck, Johanna
    Abstract: This paper provides novel evidence on the effect of family-friendly firm policies on satisfaction and working time of parents. The focus of this study is on two specific firm policies: Childcare support and flexible working schedules. We exploit the fact that since the mid 2000s an increasing share of employers react to their employees' needs by offering a family-friendly work environment. These changes over time allow us to identify causal effects of the two family-friendly policies. Identification is based on a difference-in-differences strategy in a panel dataset on families with young children in Germany (FiD). The model is combined with matching to decrease potential bias arising from observable factors correlated with the offer of family-friendly policies and the change in the considered outcomes. We find that for mothers, childcare support strongly increases satisfaction related to childcare and additionally raises life and job satisfaction. Particularly middle and lower educated mothers increase their working time when childcare support is offered. The effects are mainly driven by immediate use of childcare support. Flexible working schedules only affect mothers' job satisfaction, but do not seem to change family related satisfaction and working time. Fathers show nearly no reactions to either childcare support or flexible working schedules. Childcare support seems to be a truly family-friendly practice and valued by mothers, while this is not so clear for flexible working schedules.
    JEL: J28 J13 J21
    Date: 2016
  4. By: Möller, Joachim; Eppelsheimer, Johann
    Abstract: Since the study by Moretti (2004) for the US, it is widely accepted that the spatial distribution of human capital plays an increasing role for regional labor market outcomes. Like in the pioneer approach we assume that workers' productivity at the firm level depend on the regional share of the high skilled. We extent the theoretical framework, however, by decomposing the change in the regional share of high-skilled workers into brain drain, brain gain as well as into labor market entry and exit effects. This allows us to investigate hypotheses about the extent and nature of knowledge spillovers in more detail. For the empirical part we analyze a large administrative panel data set. Including a series of controls as well as fixed effects for the worker, occupation, industry, region and year we find a significant negative relationship between brain drain and the regional wage level of low- and high skilled workers and a positive one for brain gain. These results are robust across different specifications and hold for Germany as a whole and West Germany alone. If estimated separately, we find much weaker and partly statistically not significant knowledge spillovers for East German regions. In general, brain drain and brain gain effects are of similar order of magnitude, whereas the effect of labor market exits of high-skilled workers exceeds that of labor market entries in absolute value. Using instrumental variable methods we show that the basic results are not driven by endogeneity bias.
    JEL: J24 J31 O15
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Theodosios Dimopoulos (University of Lausanne, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, and Swiss Finance Institute); Hannes F. Wagner (Bocconi University)
    Abstract: This paper provides a cross-country analysis to determine whether CEO turnover is a credible disciplining device for managers, whether it is effective in delivering performance improvements, and whether better governance improves the credibility and effectiveness of CEO turnover. The analysis is based on a detailed panel of 5,300 CEO years and spans two distinctly different financial systems- the U.K. and Germany-over the period 1995-2005. We find that CEOs face a credible threat of being removed for underperformance and that the hiring of new CEOs is effective in realizing large profitability improvements in the following years. We also find both relations to be virtually identical in both countries, despite large structural governance differences. Further, we consider a large number of firm-specific governance mechanisms previously proposed as indicators of better governance and find no evidence that any of them improves the observed relations between firm performance and CEO turnover. Taken together, our results suggest that replacing the CEO is an important component of successful turnarounds in underperforming firms and that this economic mechanism appears to work in nearly identical ways across very different financial markets, and across firms with very different quality of governance.
    Keywords: CEO, board, turnover, performance, restructuring
    JEL: G30 G34
  6. By: Juan Esteban Carranza; Álvaro J. Riascos; Natalia Serna
    Abstract: The Colombian health system has two main types of agents: the insurers and the service providers, which interact with each other through bilateral contracts. The types of contracts that these agents can write is restricted to a limited menu established by the regulator. The two most prevalent types of contract in the data are, by far, capitation contracts and fee-for-service contracts, which distribute risk and incentives differentially across both parties. We use a detailed data set of services and payments of all insurers and service providers at the individual user level to study the determinants of contract choice and their effect on health outcomes of a large sample of patients with chronic diseases. We focus on patients who are identical at the type of diagnosis, except for the contract type under which they are served, and show that capitation contracts are strongly correlated with lower rates of return to emergency care and lower rates of reincidence, compared with fee-for-service contracts. Both types of contracts lead to statistically different treatment paths. These results are consistent with contract theory and the economics of asymmetric information. Moreover, we show that the contract type depends on the market power of insurers and providers as predicted by a bargaining model. More generally, the results highlight the relevance of vertical contracts for the performance of health systems.
    Keywords: Vertical contracts, health insurance, asymmetric information
    JEL: D86 I11 L14
    Date: 2017–01–30
  7. By: Julian Runge, (School of Business and Economics, Humboldt University Berlin); Stefan Wagner (ESMT European School of Management and Technology); Jörg Claussen (School of Business Administration, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich); Daniel Klapper (School of Business and Economics, Humboldt University Berlin)
    Abstract: Firms commonly run field experiments to improve their freemium pricing schemes. However, they often lack a framework for analysis that goes beyond directly measurable outcomes and focuses on longer term profit. We aim to fill this gap by structuring existing knowledge on freemium pricing into a stylized framework. We apply the proposed framework in the analysis of a field experiment that contrasts three variations of a freemium pricing scheme and comprises about 300,000 users of a software application. Our findings indicate that a reduction of free product features increases conversion as well as viral activity, but reduces usage – which is in line with the framework’s predictions. Additional back-of-the-envelope profit estimations suggest that managers were overly optimistic about positive externalities from usage and viral activity in their choice of pricing scheme, leading them to give too much of their product away for free. Our framework and its exemplary application can be a remedy.
    Keywords: freemium, pricing, digitization, field experimentation
    Date: 2016–12–21
  8. By: Larisa Vladykina (Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration, Chelyabinsk branch)
    Abstract: It is necessary to consider managing the project aimed at improving human capital assets of an organization as a goal-oriented activity directed at achieving a new result and also at enlarging the existing possibilities to increase competitiveness of an organization with the help of staff development in the context of limited resources
    Keywords: aim, task, project, project approach
    JEL: J0
    Date: 2015–11
  9. By: Reuben, Ernesto (New York University, Abu Dhabi); Timko, Krisztina (University of Helsinki)
    Abstract: We study the effect on coordination in a minimum-effort game of a leader's gender depending on whether the leader is democratically elected or is randomly-selected. Leaders use non-binding messages to try to convince followers to coordinate on the Pareto-efficient equilibrium. We find that teams with elected leaders coordinate on higher effort levels. Initially, the benefits of being elected are enjoyed solely by male leaders. However, this gender difference disappears with repeated interaction as unsuccessful male leaders are reelected more often than unsuccessful female leaders.
    Keywords: gender differences, leadership, democracy effect, leader effectiveness, coordination
    JEL: M14 M54 J16 C92
    Date: 2017–01
  10. By: Nathan Chappell; Isabell Sin (Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)
    Abstract: An amendment to legislation in 2009 enabled New Zealand firms with fewer than 20 employees to hire new workers on trial periods. The scheme was subsequently extended to employers of all sizes. The policy was intended to encourage firms to take on more employees, and particularly more disadvantaged job seekers, by reducing the risk associated with hiring an unknown worker. We use unit record linked employer-employee data and the staggered introduction of the policy for firms of different sizes to assess the policy effect on firm hiring behaviour. We find no evidence that the policy affected the number of hires by firms on average, either overall or into employment that lasted beyond the trial period. We also do not find an effect on hiring of disadvantaged jobseekers. However, our results suggest that the policy increased hiring in industries with high use of trial periods by 10.3 percent.
    Keywords: 90-day trials; employment; labour market flexibility; firm hiring
    JEL: J08 J63 J64
    Date: 2016–06

This nep-hrm issue is ©2017 by Patrick Kampkötter. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.