nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒07‒02
ten papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Homo Reciprocans Revisited By Jin Di Zheng
  2. Moral Hazard and Horizontal Information By Anastasios Papanastasiou
  3. What makes employees satisfied with their working time? : The role of working hours, time-sovereignty and working conditions for working time and job satisfaction By Wanger, Susanne
  4. Heterogeneous Human Capital, Inequality and Growth: The Role of Patience and Skills By Kirill Borissov; Stefano Bosi; Thai Ha-Huy; Leonor Modesto
  5. Increasing the Well-Being of Others On-the-Job and Outside the Workplace By Max van Lent
  6. Does Assigning More Women to Managerial Positions Enhance Firm Productivity? Evidence from Sweden By Sato, Yoshihiro; Ando, Michihito
  7. The Effects of Policies Concerning Teachers’ Wages on Students’ Performance By Julia Varga
  8. One Size Fits All? Gender Differences in the Effect of Subjective Feedback By Agnes Szabo-Morvai; Anna Lovasz; Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska; Mariann Rigo; Andrea Kiss
  9. The causal impact of social Connections on firms' outcomes By Eliason, Marcus; Hensvik, Lena; Kramarz, Francis; Nordström Skans, Oskar
  10. The impact of incentives on prosocial behavior: An experimental investigation with German and Chinese subjects By Yang, Guanzhong

  1. By: Jin Di Zheng (University of Amsterdam)
    Abstract: Do reciprocal workers work more if their wage compares well to similar workers in the economy? Are they more satisfied with their job? Predictions vary from theories. With a survey dataset with a representative sample of the German population, I construct a reference wage and measures for reciprocity for each worker. Depending on how much more or less a worker earns than the reference, I investigate how effort and job satisfaction react to reciprocity tendencies. The results suggest that a worker's unpaid overtime hours increase with her relative earnings if above the reference; and the more so, the stronger her positive reciprocity tendency is. However, there is no such interaction for negative reciprocity. Job satisfaction is associated with reciprocity, yet insensitive to the interaction between reciprocity and relative income.
    Keywords: reciprocity, effort, satisfaction, reference wage
    JEL: J3 M5
    Date: 2017–04–19
  2. By: Anastasios Papanastasiou
    Abstract: This paper examines a moral hazard problem where the principal observes a location signal of the agent's unobserved effort. When the agent incurs costlier effort the demand for the agent's services is ex-ante more spread out over a location measure of demand. If location outcomes are informative about the agents action and verifiable, the principal can improve efficiency by contracting on such information. The introduction of location information suggests that the optimal contract that maximizes expected market size can be locally decreasing in sales when small-market location outcomes are a strong signal of high effort.
    JEL: D82 D86
    Date: 2017–06–27
  3. By: Wanger, Susanne (Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany])
    Abstract: "Working time arrangements are key elements of working conditions and determine the possibilities for employees to balance work with their other life spheres. Therefore, this paper examines the level of working time satisfaction of employees and identifies the factors that may facilitate or impede satisfaction with working time using crosssectional data from the German BIBB/BAuA-Employment Survey. The analytical basis is a generalized ordered logistic regression model. The main results indicate that individual time-sovereignty is positively linked with a high level of working time satisfaction. Worker-friendly working time arrangements, which lead to less stress, insecurity and mental pressure, increase satisfaction levels, whereas atypical working time arrangements, such as unpaid overtime and working shifts, weekends and under high intensity, reduce satisfaction levels." (Author's abstract, IAB-Doku) ((en))
    JEL: J22 J28 J81
    Date: 2017–06–19
  4. By: Kirill Borissov; Stefano Bosi; Thai Ha-Huy; Leonor Modesto
    Abstract: We extend the Lucas’ 1988 model introducing two classes of agents with heterogeneous skills, discount factors and initial human capital endowments. We consider two regimes according to the planner’s political constraints. In the meritocratic regime, the planner faces individual constraints. In the redistributive regime, the planner faces an aggregate constraint. We find that heterogeneity matters, particularly with redistribution. In the meritocratic regime, the optimal solution coincides with the BGP found by Lucas (1988) for the representative agent’s case. In contrast, in the redistribution case, the solution for time devoted to capital accumulation is never interior for both agents. Either the less talented agents do not accumulate human capital or the more skilled agents do not work. Moreover, social welfare under the redistribution regime is always higher than under meritocracy and it is optimal to exploit existing differences. Finally, we find that inequality in human capital distribution increases in time and that, in the long run, inequality always promotes growth.
    Keywords: Human capital, Heterogenous patience and skills, Inequality and growth
    JEL: J24 O15 O40
    Date: 2017–06–23
  5. By: Max van Lent (Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands)
    Abstract: We study the relationship between workers' opportunities to help others on-the-job and volunteering behavior outside the workplace. We predict that there is substitutability between workers' contribution to other peoples' well-being by exerting effort on-the-job and outside the workplace. We test this prediction using rich data from the Dutch LISS Panel. We exploit variation in workers' opportunities to help others on-the-job from two sources: i) workers' job switching behavior and ii) changes in workers' opportunities to help others on their current job through plausibly exogenous changes in workers' match of mission preferences with their employer. We find some support for our prediction.
    Keywords: altruism; charitable donations; volunteering; public sector employment; job switchers; mission motivation
    JEL: D64 H11 J45 M50
    Date: 2017–06–23
  6. By: Sato, Yoshihiro (European Institute of Japanese Studies); Ando, Michihito (National Institute of Population and Social Security Research)
    Abstract: We analyze whether gender composition at non-board managerial levels has any impact on firm productivity and other related outcomes in the service sector using a linked employer-employee dataset from Sweden. Exploiting within-firm variation, we apply a difference-in-differences propensity score matching method to address an endogeneity issue. Our results suggest no significant effects on productivity but significant positive effects on firms' growth in terms of value added and labor inputs when a firm “replaces” a male manager with a woman. We do not observe any impact when a firm “appoints” a woman instead of a man to a new managerial position.
    Keywords: Gender; Gender diversity; Firm productivity; Manager; Difference-in-differences matching; Propensity score matching
    JEL: J16 J24 J71 J82
    Date: 2017–01–09
  7. By: Julia Varga (Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences)
    Abstract: Using country panel data of student achievement from PISA, 2003-2012 combined with national-level teacher salary data from the OECD; this study investigates if relatively short term -5-years - changes in the level and structure of statutory teacher salaries affect student performance in the European countries. Our results show that there are marked differences between subjects and by the experience of teachers. Higher statutory teacher salaries and larger growth of teacher salaries at the first part of teachers’ career increase students’ maths and science performance, while the effect was less pronounced on reading performance and at the second part of teacher career. Nevertheless, the reason for the lack of the effect of teacher salaries at the second part of teachers’ career may be the result of the lack of data on teachers’ actual salaries.
    Keywords: teacher salaries, student performance, international, PISA, random effect, two-step method
    JEL: I20 J31 J45 C23
    Date: 2017–01
  8. By: Agnes Szabo-Morvai (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and HETFA Institute); Anna Lovasz (Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences and ELTE University); Ewa Cukrowska-Torzewska (University of Warsaw, Faculty of Economic Sciences); Mariann Rigo (Institute of Gerontology at TU Dortmund University); Andrea Kiss (Duke University, North Carolina)
    Abstract: The effect of objective feedback on performance is often studied, while subjective feedback is largely neglected in the economics literature. We estimate the impact of positive subjective feedback - encouragement and praise - on effort and performance, and compare the effect by gender. We use a computer game, during which players are randomly chosen to be given either no feedback (control) or positive subjective feedback (treatment), and analyze the treatment effect on effort (clicks) and performance (score). Based on previous economic and psychology theories, we test the pathways through which subjective feedback can have an impact: on (1) effort, due to the updating of expected performance or direct (dis)utility from the feedback, or (2) marginal productivity. The results point to significant differences in the mean effects of subjective feedback by gender. For women, encouragement has a significant positive effect while praise has a significant negative effect on performance, while men are less responsive to subjective feedback in general. Gender differences are mostly explained by different confidence distributions, while there are no gender differences in treatment effects if confidence level is held fixed. The effects are mostly realized through changes in effort. These results suggest that better targeted supervisory communication in schools or workplaces can improve the performance of lower-confidence individuals and thereby decrease the gender gap in performance.
    Keywords: gender differences, supervisory feedback, experimental economics
    JEL: C90 D03 J16 M54
    Date: 2017–06
  9. By: Eliason, Marcus (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Hensvik, Lena (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Kramarz, Francis (CREST, Ecole Polytechnique, CEPR); Nordström Skans, Oskar (Department of Economics, Uppsala University)
    Abstract: The paper studies how social connections affect firm-level hiring decisions and performance. We characterize the social connections of firms’ employees using register data and for causal identification we use job displacements, which create directed positive shocks towards connected firms by increasing these firms’ available supply of connected labor. We ascertain that our results are fully driven by these directed supply shocks. Our results show that firms appear to prefer to hire employed workers to whom they are connected over unconnected or unemployed workers. Employed and connected workers mostly go to high-productivity firms, whereas unemployed and unconnected workers tend to go to low-productivity firms. Strong connections – family, recent, durable, formed in small groups, between socially similar agents – matter the most. A displacement shock causes connected firms, in particular low-productive ones, to hire more of the connected workers, while leaving unconnected hires and separations essentially unaffected. Increases in the supply of connected labor, therefore, cause the creation of additional jobs at the firm level. By using these shocks, we can also show that hiring connected workers has a positive causal impact on firm performance. Our results are consistent with a stylized framework where connections reduce hiring frictions and where the firms’ ability to hire connected workers is a function of these workers’ outside options.
    Keywords: networks; job search; job displacement; job creation
    JEL: J23 J30 J60
    Date: 2017–06–09
  10. By: Yang, Guanzhong
    Abstract: Economists believe in (monetary) incentives. However, in the specialized area of prosocial behaviours, (monetary) incentives could backfire because extrinsic motivation might crowd out intrinsic motivation. Moreover, national differences in the perception of incentives should also be considered, taking the cultural background of individuals into account. In this project, we ran a real effort experiment in Germany and in China. In addition to an extrinsic monetary incentive (personal payment) to the subjects, we made a donation to UNICEF, and the amount of the donation depended on the effort of the subjects, which served as an intrinsic motivation. The results indicate that with respect to activities with a prosocial element, Germans tended to exert a high level of effort, regardless of the alternation of the art and the level of their payoff; in contrast, the Chinese did react to extrinsic monetary incentives and exerted more effort with a linear payment or if the level of payment was high. Females exerted significantly more effort than males, and this was true for both the German and Chinese subjects. The last finding is that the Chinese were more motivated by a fixed non-monetary payment than a fixed monetary payment, if the level of payment was relatively low.
    Keywords: monetary incentives,prosocial behaviour,intrinsic and extrinsic motivation
    JEL: C91 D64 L31
    Date: 2017

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