nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒08‒20
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Motivational Goal Bracketing: An Experiment By Alexander K. Koch; Julia Nafziger
  2. Self-worth versus net worth: Image motivation and the quantity-quality trade-off By Brock, Michelle
  3. Work organisation, human capital and innovation strategies: new evidence from firm-level Italian data By Capriati, Michele; Divella, Marialuisa
  4. Job satisfaction and organizational commitment under Traditional and Modern T&D program: Evidence from Public Banking Sector of Pakistan By Faridi, Adnan; Baloch, Akhtar; Wajidi, Abuzar
  5. Human Capital and Structural Change By Porzio, Tommaso; Santangelo, Gabriella
  6. Human Capital Flows in Failing Organizations: An Integrated Conceptual Framework By Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph
  7. Tailored Feedback and Worker Green Behavior: Field Evidence from Bus Drivers By Adriaan (A.R.) Soetevent; Gert-Jan Romensen
  8. People Versus Machines: The Impact of Minimum Wages on Automatable Jobs By Grace Lordan; David Neumark
  9. The Returns to Personality Traits across the Wage Distribution By Matthias Collischon

  1. By: Alexander K. Koch (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark); Julia Nafziger (Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University, Denmark)
    Abstract: We study in an online, real-effort experiment how the bracketing of non-binding goals affects performance in a work-leisure self-control problem. We externally induce the goal bracket - daily goals or a weekly goal - and within that bracket let subjects set goals for how much they want to work over a one-week period. Our theoretical model predicts (i) that weekly goals create incentives to compensate for a lower than desired performance today with the promise to work harder tomorrow, whereas daily goals exclude such excuses; (ii) that subjects with daily goals set higher goals in aggregate and work harder than those with weekly goals. Our data support these predictions. Surprisingly, however, when goals are combined with an externally enforced commitment that requires subjects to spend less than a minute each day on the task to get started working, performance deteriorates because of high dropout rates from the task.
    Keywords: Self-control, goals, narrow bracketing, commitment devices, real effort, online experiment
    JEL: D03 D81 D91
    Date: 2017–08–25
  2. By: Brock, Michelle
    Abstract: Self-image concerns can motivate behaviour over which it is difficult to contract. We investigate how self-image concerns impact the quantity-quality trade-off of professionals, independent of external reputation. To do so, we use a framed field experiment with judges. The experiment measures the effect of self-image concerns compared to that of a bonus and to that of combing both incentives. We find that while both incentives increase the quantity of work, bonuses generate much worse quality. Subjects are less willing to engage in opportunistic behaviour to earn the bonus, however, if a peer might see their work, albeit anonymously.
    Keywords: intrinsic incentives; judges; professionalism; real-effort task; Self-image; Tajikistan
    JEL: D91 J33 M52
    Date: 2017–08
  3. By: Capriati, Michele; Divella, Marialuisa
    Abstract: By using firm-level data provided by the fourth round of the (Italian) Community Innovation Survey (CIS 2012), this paper explores whether the implementation of specific changes in work organisation within a firm influences its innovation performance, not only directly, but also via reinforcing the link between human capital resources and innovation. The authors also analyse the overall effect of human capital and work organisation, which enables them to identify which combination of these variables leads to the highest level of firms’ technological capabilities. Main findings confirm that not only the acquisition of new skills through the hiring of qualified personnel, but also how personnel management affects individual employees on the work floor should be considered to the development of firms’ innovation capacity: indeed, work organisation as well as strong positive complementarities or synergy effects between human capital and work organisation have been found to give firms a clear competitive advantage vis à vis both non­innovating firms and firms unable to internally generate new products and processes (i.e. entirely or at least partly by themselves). These positive effects are present and relevant in both manufacturing and service firms, whilst a more differentiated impact has emerged between firms in high-tech and low-tech sectors of the economy. On the whole, the contribution raises some relevant issues about the Italian lack of innovation in work organisation, which requires particular attention by the human resources management of firms and the industrial policy of governments.
    Keywords: work organisation,human capital,technological capabilities,innovation generation,firms,industries
    JEL: O30 O31 O32
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Faridi, Adnan; Baloch, Akhtar; Wajidi, Abuzar
    Abstract: This article investigates the impact of traditional and modern training programs on the overall performance and commitment to employees in public banking sector of Pakistan. Additionally, the study examines the relationship between antecedents of organizational commitment and job satisfaction. Bank of Khyber, First Women Bank, National Bank of Pakistan, Sindh Bank, and The Bank of Punjab are currently operating public banks in Pakistan. Thus, all five considered in this study using strata sampling technique. Total 26 Branch Managers participated in interviews whereas 292 completed survey questionnaire. Results showed modern T&D methods preferred by contractual employees whereas permanent employees prefer traditional methods of training and development. Moreover, T&D significantly affect the continuance commitment (CC) of female employees whereas salary increment enhances males' normative commitment (NC) and affective commitment (AC). Additionally, both modern and traditional T&D methods improve job satisfaction. AC and NC are relatively higher in public bank employees in comparison to CC, resulting from training and development program.
    Keywords: Training and Development, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, public banking sector
    JEL: M0 M1 M12 M53
    Date: 2017–05–29
  5. By: Porzio, Tommaso; Santangelo, Gabriella
    Abstract: What explains labor reallocation out of agriculture? We propose an accounting framework that leverages observable variation across birth cohorts to study the role of human capital accumulation. We model a dynamic overlapping generations economy where heterogeneous individuals choose whether to stay in or move out of agriculture, subject to mobility frictions. The model shows analytically that labor reallocation within- and across-cohorts pins down the relative role of human capital vs. sectoral prices/productivities in labor reallocation. We apply the framework to micro data from 52 countries. We document novel empirical patterns on labor reallocation by cohort and use them, through the lens of our model, to discipline the size of mobility frictions and show two results: (i) human capital explains one third of labor reallocation, on average; but (ii) it has a minor role in explaining why some countries have faster reallocation than others. Furthermore, we use years of schooling as a direct measure of human capital to validate our main approach and we exploit a large-scale school construction program in Indonesia as a natural experiment to study the effects of an exogenous increase in human capital. We show that the program led to labor reallocation out of agriculture.
    Keywords: Social and Behavioral Sciences, Human Capital, Structural Change, Agriculture, Development, Schooling
    Date: 2017–08–16
  6. By: Amankwah-Amoah, Joseph
    Abstract: Purpose – The paper examines the dynamics of human capital accumulation and human capital depletion in the processes leading to business failure. Design/methodology/approach – Building on the human capital theory, strategic human resource and business failure literature, this paper develops a conceptual framework which links the inward and outward dimensions of human capital flows in the business failure process. Findings – The analysis sheds light on why some highly skilled individuals may opt to flee declining firms to avoid being stigmatised whilst others become motivated to joint such firms. Research limitations/implications – The paper suggests that understanding the nature and dynamics of both flows are essential when seeking to avert collapse. Originality/value –In spite of a growing body of research on business failure and intense competition for top talent, much of the existing literature has circumvented the relationship between them. This study develops a unified model towards enhancing our understanding of the human capital flows.
    Keywords: failing organizations; human capital; business failure; personnel poaching.
    JEL: M1 M14 M16 M3
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Adriaan (A.R.) Soetevent (University of Groningen, The Netherlands; Tinbergen Institute, The Netherlands); Gert-Jan Romensen (University of Groningen, The Netherlands;)
    Abstract: How to engage workers in conservation efforts when the company pays the bill? In a field experiment with 409 bus drivers, we investigate the potential of targeted peer-comparison feedback and on-the-road coaching. Drivers receive individualized reports with peer-comparison messages on multiple driving dimensions. In addition, coaches quasi randomly provide drivers with in person coaching moments on the bus. Based on 800,000 trip-level observations, we find that the targeted peer-comparison treatments do not improve driving. On-the-road coaching significantly improves driving on multiple dimensions but only temporarily. Further analysis reveals negative interaction effects between the two programs.
    Keywords: peer comparisons; coaching; worker motivation; fuel conservation
    JEL: D2 M5 Q5
    Date: 2017–08–03
  8. By: Grace Lordan; David Neumark
    Abstract: We study the effect of minimum wage increases on employment in automatable jobs – jobs in which employers may find it easier to substitute machines for people – focusing on low-skilled workers from whom such substitution may be spurred by minimum wage increases. Based on CPS data from 1980-2015, we find that increasing the minimum wage decreases significantly the share of automatable employment held by low-skilled workers, and increases the likelihood that low-skilled workers in automatable jobs become unemployed. The average effects mask significant heterogeneity by industry and demographic group, including substantive adverse effects for older, low-skilled workers in manufacturing. The findings imply that groups often ignored in the minimum wage literature are in fact quite vulnerable to employment changes and job loss because of automation following a minimum wage increase.
    JEL: J23 J38
    Date: 2017–08
  9. By: Matthias Collischon
    Abstract: This paper investigates heterogeneous wage effects of non-cognitive skills across the wage distribution. I develop a model of wage determination under uncertainty with respect to individual productivity based on three components (minimum wages, productivity premiums, bargaining premiums). Based on this model, I expect (i) a larger importance and (ii) larger effects of non-cognitive skills for high-wage employees compared to their low-wage counterparts. I test these hypotheses with unconditional quantile regressions using large-scale survey data from Germany, the UK, and Australia. To test the joint explanatory contribution of multiple variables within a quantile-regression framework, I propose a new statistic that quantifies the rise in explanatory power generated by additional explanatory variables. The findings indicate a rising importance as well as increasing effects of certain personality traits (agreeableness, neuroticism and risk taking) across the wage distribution for full-time employed males and females.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills, personality traits, unconditional quantile regression
    JEL: C21 J24 J31
    Date: 2017

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