nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒07‒09
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Do discriminatory pay regimes unleash antisocial behavior? By Grosch, Kerstin; Rau, Holger A.
  2. Occupational Licensing Reduces Racial and Gender Wage Gaps: Evidence from the Survey of Income and Program Participation By Peter Blair; Bobby Chung
  3. IKIGAI: Reflection on Life Goals Optimizes Performance and Happiness By Schippers, M.C.
  4. Trust and Signals in Workplace Organization: Evidence from Job Autonomy Differentials between Immigrant Groups By van Hoorn, Andre
  5. Training and Effort Dynamics in Apprenticeship By Fudenberg, Drew; Rayo, Luis
  6. Talent workers as entrepreneurs: a new approach to aspirational self-employment By Joanna Tyrowicz; Magdalena Smyk
  7. The strength of the anchoring effect on Pay What You Want payments: Evidence from a vignette experiment By Anna Kukla-Gryz; Katarzyna Zagórska
  8. In brief...The value of good management By Nicholas Bloom; John Van Reenen

  1. By: Grosch, Kerstin; Rau, Holger A.
    Abstract: In this paper, we analyze how pay-regime procedures affect antisocial behavior at the workplace. In a real-effort experiment we vary two determinants of pay regimes: discrimination and justification of payments by performance. In our Discrimination treatment half of the workforce is randomly selected and promoted and participate in a tournament (high-income workers) whereas the other half receives no payment (lowincome workers). Afterwards, antisocial behavior is measured by a Joy-of-Destruction game where participants can destroy canteen vouchers. The data show that low-income workers destroy significantly more vouchers than high-income workers. Destruction behavior is driven by workers who receive payments that are not justified by performance. When all payments are justified, that is in our Competition treatment where all workers participate in a tournament, the difference vanishes. By using a treatment with random payments, we show that unjustifiably-paid workers destroy less when they had equal opportunities to receive a high payment, i.e., when they were not discriminated by the pay regime.
    Keywords: antisocial behavior,discrimination,experiment,joy of destruction
    JEL: C91 D03 J33 J70 M52
    Date: 2017
  2. By: Peter Blair (Clemson University); Bobby Chung (Clemson University)
    Abstract: In order to work legally, 29% of U.S. workers require an occupational license. We show that occupational licensing reduces the racial wage gap between white and black men by 43%, and the gender wage gap between women and white men by 36%-40%. For black men, a license is a positive indicator of non-felony status that aids in firm screening of workers, whereas women experience differentially higher returns to the human capital that is bundled with occupational licenses. The information and human capital content of licenses enable firms to rely less on race and gender as predictors of worker productivity.
    Keywords: wage inequality, statistical discrimination, occupational licensing, screening, signaling, optimal regulation
    JEL: D21 D84 J24 J31 J41 J70 K23 K31 L51
    Date: 2017–06
  3. By: Schippers, M.C.
    Abstract: In her inaugural address, Michaéla discusses the role of self-regulatory behaviors that people can employ in order to live a full-filling life. These behaviors include reflection and personal goal setting, in order to formulate a direction or purpose in life (Ikigai). In the inaugural address, an evidence-based goal-setting intervention is discussed. This relatively brief intervention has shown to have lasting results: not only does it increase well-being of students, the intervention also boosted academic performance of students by over 20%. Moreover, the intervention significantly decreased the gender and ethnic minority performance gap. The goal setting is shown in a broader perspective with examples in education, business and operations management. The perspective presented in this address emphasizes taking control of one’s life in order to optimize performance and happiness.
    Keywords: Goal setting, Study success, Reflection, Self-regulatory behaviour, Well-being and happiness, Gender and ethnicity gap, Personality, Team reflexivity, Behavioural operations management, Performance management
    JEL: M10 L2 M12 L12
    Date: 2017–06–16
  4. By: van Hoorn, Andre
    Abstract: Trust involves a willingness to be vulnerable to other agents’ actions as well as an assessment of these agents’ trustworthiness. This paper seeks to unpack the relationship between trust and workplace organization, focusing on signals of (un)trustworthiness guiding employers’ trust decisions. While much research finds that societal trust norms affect workplace organization, particularly the granting of autonomy to employees, the underlying process remains essentially a black box. Integrating extant literatures, I posit that employers use group-level traits to infer (un)trustworthiness and decide on how much job autonomy to grant to specific employees. I test this prediction in a large cross-national sample comprising migrant employees originating from home countries that differ in the degree to which corruption has been institutionalized in society. Confirming my prediction, empirical results reveal a strong negative relationship between homecountry corruption and job autonomy. Results are robust to controlling for a range of potential confounders, including personal income and home-country level of economic development as proxies for unobserved skill differentials. Key contribution of the paper is to reveal important real-world features of trust governing exchange in the context of workplace organization.
    Keywords: Trustworthiness; decentralization; statistical discrimination; signaling theory; economic exchange
    JEL: D29 L29 M50
    Date: 2016
  5. By: Fudenberg, Drew; Rayo, Luis
    Abstract: We study the design of careers by a principal who trains a cash-constrained agent, or apprentice, who is free to walk away at any time. The principal specifies time paths of knowledge transfer, effort provision, and task allocation, subject to the apprentice's continued participation. In the optimal contract, the apprentice pays for training by working for low or no wages and working inefficiently hard. The apprentice can work on both "skilled" (knowledge-complementary) and "unskilled" (knowledge-independent) tasks. If the principal specifies inefficiently much skilled effort at any time, she shortens the apprenticeship compared to its length when skilled effort is efficient. Otherwise, she specifies inefficiently much unskilled effort throughout and leaves the apprenticeship length unchanged. We then consider the effect of regulations that limit how hard the apprentice can work and how long the apprenticeship can last.
    Date: 2017–07
  6. By: Joanna Tyrowicz (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE); University of Warsaw); Magdalena Smyk (Group for Research in Applied Economics (GRAPE))
    Abstract: Using the concept of so-called talent workers (Hsieh et al. 2016), we ask what is the link between wage employment as a talent worker and subsequent establishing of business. Individuals with tertiary education and experience in specific occupations skills are in principle more likely to develop or adopt innovations necessary for the entrepreneurial success. We employ over a decade of individual level data on changes in the labor market status for Poland – a country with high levels of self-employment and analyze transitions to self-employment as opposed to switching jobs. We find that talent workers are more likely to become self-employed than to change a job. We also find that the odds of creating more than one job position are higher among talent workers who switch to self-employment than among other groups of workers who become self-employed. These results are robust to two possibly confounding effects – within sector mobility and higher productivity of workers before entering self-employment.
    Keywords: self-employment, talent workers, labor mobility, wage employment
    JEL: J62 J24 L26
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Anna Kukla-Gryz (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw); Katarzyna Zagórska (Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw)
    Abstract: The goal of this paper is to empirically investigate, on the example of eBooks, the effects of the expected quality, external and internal reference prices, risk-taking propensity and perceived costs of production on the size of the voluntary payments in pay-what-you-want (PWYW) scheme. Using the results of a vignette experiment, we show that independently from the expected quality of the eBook, when individual internal reference price is higher than external reference price, voluntary payments are significantly higher if external reference price is not provided. When the external reference price is not provided then PWYW payments depend positively on consumers’ individual internal reference price, and the perceived percentage of the price believed to cover the author’s compensation and the publication costs. The originality of the research comes from separating the anchoring effect of external reference prices from the quality signal effect.
    Keywords: Laffer curve, tax evasion, labor market duality
    JEL: D01 D12 Z19 M31
    Date: 2017
  8. By: Nicholas Bloom; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Management quality varies widely, even within a single firm, according to analysis of data collected from over 35,000 manufacturing plants in the United States. In their latest examination of the relationship between management practices and firms' performance, John Van Reenen and colleagues find that better management depends on competition, skills and learning from the leading firms.
    Keywords: manufacturing, management, management practices
    Date: 2017–07

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