nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒09‒24
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Motivating Workers through Task Assignment: A Dynamic Model of Up-and-Down Competition for Status By Julianna M. Butler; Scott M. Gilpatric; Christian A. Vossler
  2. Peer effects on perseverance By Buechel, Berno; Mechtenberg, Lydia; Petersen, Julia
  3. Team Incentives under Moral and Altruistic Preferences: Which Team to Choose? By Sarkisian, Roberto
  4. Up in STEM, Down in Business: Changing College Major Decisions with the Great Recession By Liu, Shimeng; Sun, Weizeng; Winters, John V.
  5. Human resource management in successful European multinational enterprises during the economic crisis By Zavyalova, E.K.; Kucherov, D.G.; Kosheleva, S.V.; Fisyuk, R.R.; Tsybova, V.S.; Alsufyev, A.I.
  6. Interregional Migration, Human Capital Externalities and Unemployment Dynamics: Evidence from Italian Provinces By Basile, Roberto; Girardi, Alessandro; Mantuano, Marianna; Russo, Giuseppe
  7. High Involvement Work System from organizational and individual perspective By Bordunos, A.; Kosheleva, S.
  8. How uncertainty and ambiguity in tournaments affect gender differences in competitive behavior By Loukas Balafoutas; Brent J. Davis; Matthias Sutter
  9. Should payment for performance depend on mortality? By Philippe Loirat; Marie Ferrua; Benoît Lalloué; Aude Fourcade; Etienne Minvielle

  1. By: Julianna M. Butler (Department of Economics, University of Delaware); Scott M. Gilpatric (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee); Christian A. Vossler (Department of Economics, University of Tennessee)
    Abstract: We show how competition for status that conveys explicit benefits can motivate effort in organizations such as schools, public agencies, and unionized firms in the absence of monetary incentives or intrinsically motivated workers. We develop an indefinitely-repeated labor market tournament model in which high-status agents may be rewarded either monetarily or with favorable task assignment. If monetary incentives are unavailable and the principal relies on task assignment this entails an efficiency cost relative to the benchmark case with monetary incentives. Our model offers a new perspective on the value to an employer of flexibility over job assignments within labor contracts.
    Keywords: task assignment; status; dynamic tournament; non-wage compensation
    JEL: C73 J41 L20 M51 M52
    Date: 2017–09
  2. By: Buechel, Berno; Mechtenberg, Lydia; Petersen, Julia
    Abstract: Successful performance – be it in school, at the job, or in sports activities – requires perseverance, i.e., persistent work on a demanding task. We investigate in a controlled laboratory experiment how an individual’s social environment affects perseverance. We find evidence for two kinds of peer effects: being observed by a peer can serve as a commitment device, while observing a peer can be informative. In particular, we show that successful peers affect perseverance positively if they communicate their success in a motivating way and negatively otherwise, while perseverance is unaffected by unsuccessful peers. Our experimental results suggest that peers affect perseverance indirectly, via influencing self-confidence. We turn to field data from an educational setting and find that students seem to be able to harness the power of peer effects, by selecting into groups that help them reach their goals.
    Keywords: Self-control; Peer Effects; Social Networks; Experiment
    JEL: C91 D90 I21 J24
    Date: 2017–09–16
  3. By: Sarkisian, Roberto
    Abstract: This paper studies incentives provision when agents are characterized either by homo moralis preferences (Alger and Weibull, 2013, 2016), i.e. their utility is represented by a convex combination of selfish preferences and Kantian morality, or by altruism. In a moral hazard in teams setting with two agents whose efforts affect output stochastically, I demonstrate that the power of extrinsic incentives decreases with the degrees of morality and altruism displayed by the agents, thus leading to increased profits for the principal. I also show that a team of moral agents will only be preferred if the production technology exhibits decreasing returns to efforts, the probability of a high realization of output conditional on both agents exerting effort is suficiently high and either the outside option for the agents is zero or the degree of morality is suficiently low.
    Keywords: Moral hazard in teams; optimal contracts; homo moralis preferences;altruism
    JEL: D03 D82 D86
    Date: 2017–08
  4. By: Liu, Shimeng; Sun, Weizeng; Winters, John V.
    Abstract: We use the American Community Survey (ACS) to investigate the extent to which college major decisions were affected during and after the Great Recession with special attention to business and STEM fields, as well as the heterogeneity by gender, race/ethnicity and combinations of race/ethnicity and gender. Several conclusions are reached. First, we see an overall increase in the frequency of STEM majors but a decrease in the frequency of business majors during and after the Great Recession. Second, the increase for STEM fields is spread across several detailed STEM fields, while the decrease in business majors is especially concentrated among finance and management. Third, we find strong heterogeneous effects by gender and race/ethnicity. Males are pushed away from business majors, while both males and females are pushed toward STEM majors; certain racial groups, such as white and Asian, seem to be affected more than others.
    Keywords: Great Recession,College Major,Business,Finance,STEM
    JEL: I20 J24
    Date: 2017
  5. By: Zavyalova, E.K.; Kucherov, D.G.; Kosheleva, S.V.; Fisyuk, R.R.; Tsybova, V.S.; Alsufyev, A.I.
    Abstract: The main goal of the present research is to identify the specific features of human resource management in successful European multinational enterprises during the economic crisis. In this study the differences in human resource management among European multinational enterprises depending on their performance during the economic crisis were analyzed. In addition, the relationship between human resource management characteristics and performance of multinational enterprises in the crisis period were studied. The results of the study revealed the specific features of human resource management in the most successful multinational enterprises during the economic crisis.
    Keywords: human resource management, performance, multinational enterprise, economic crisis,
    Date: 2016
  6. By: Basile, Roberto; Girardi, Alessandro; Mantuano, Marianna; Russo, Giuseppe
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of interregional migration on regional unemployment in Italy. With the help of a simple two-region model adapted to the main features of the Italian NorthSouth dualism, we illustrate the effects of labor mobility with and without human capital externalities. Using longitudinal data over the years 2002-2011 for 103 NUTS-3 Italian regions, we document that net outflows of human capital from the South to the North have increased the unemployment rate in the South, while it did not affect the unemployment rate in the North. Our analysis contributes to the literature on interregional human capital mobility suggesting that reducing human capital flight from Southern regions should be a priority.
    Keywords: Unemployment,Migration,Human Capital,Exernalities,Italian Regions
    JEL: C23 R23 J61
    Date: 2017
  7. By: Bordunos, A.; Kosheleva, S.
    Abstract: This paper contributes to the search of suitable and sustainable strategy for managing corporate Human Capital. Drawing on the Self-determination theory, current research differentiates HCM strategies by resulting causality orientations of the employees. In particular, the research focuses on the High Involvement-based Work System (HIWS), whicр is usually favoured to create supportive environment for employees' engagement into Innovative Work Behavior. It implies high level of Autonomous Orientations.
    Keywords: HIWS, HCM, SHRM, engagement, resilience, strategic advantage,
    Date: 2016
  8. By: Loukas Balafoutas (University of Innsbruck); Brent J. Davis (University of Innsbruck); Matthias Sutter (Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn)
    Abstract: Tournament incentives prevail in labor markets, in particular with respect to promotions. Yet, it is often unclear to competitors how many winners there will be or how many applicants compete in the tournament. While it is hard to measure how this uncertainty affects work performance and willingness to compete in the field, it can be studied in a controlled lab experiment. We present a novel experiment where subjects can compete against each other, but where the number of winners is either uncertain (i.e., unknown numbers of winners, but known probabilities) or ambiguous (unknown probabilities for different numbers of winners). We compare these two conditions with a control treatment with a known number of winners. We find that ambiguity induces a significant increase in performance of men, while we observe no change for women. Both men and women increase their willingness to enter competition with uncertainty and ambiguity, but men react slightly more than women. Overall, both effects contribute to men winning the tournament significantly more often than women under uncertainty and ambiguity. Hence, previous experiments on gender differences in competition may have measured a lower bound of differences between men and women.
    Keywords: gender, competition, uncertainty, ambiguity, experiment
    JEL: C91 D03
    Date: 2017–09
  9. By: Philippe Loirat (EA MOS - EA Management des Organisations de Santé - EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP] - PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité); Marie Ferrua (IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy, EA MOS - EA Management des Organisations de Santé - EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP] - PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité); Benoît Lalloué (EA MOS - EA Management des Organisations de Santé - EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP] - PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Aude Fourcade (EA MOS - EA Management des Organisations de Santé - EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP] - PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy); Etienne Minvielle (EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP], EA MOS - EA Management des Organisations de Santé - EHESP - École des Hautes Études en Santé Publique [EHESP] - PRES Sorbonne Paris Cité, IGR - Institut Gustave Roussy)
    Abstract: The introduction of the Hospital Value Based Purchasing (HVBP) programme, as shown recently by Jose F Figueroa and colleagues, did not improve 30 day mortality of Medicare beneficiaries admitted to US hospitals for three incentivised conditions. We agree with the authors’ conclusion that an “appropriate mix of quality metrics and incentives to improve patient outcomes” has yet to be identified. The programme was designed to promote better clinical outcomes for hospital patients and to improve their experience of care during hospital stays. However, if reducing mortality was the primary objective, a specific set of indicators should have been selected from relevant practice and organisational guidelines, which was not the case when the programme was designed. The absence of HVBP’s impact on mortality is therefore not surprising. In their conclusion Figueroa and colleagues say, “Nations considering similar pay for performance programs may want to consider alternative models.” This raises a question: should payment depend on achieving a decrease in mortality rates? The primary objective of pay for performance programmes could still be the development and maintenance of continuous quality improvement (CQI) programmes based on relevant process indicators to assess critical steps in patient management, such as the effective use of checklists in surgical procedures. These process indicators are apt to detect dangerous misconduct, less susceptible to bias, and more actionable. However, a problem remains: such CQI programmes in hospitals rely on a limited number of people repeatedly trying to motivate a large number of health professionals who are insensitive to the benefits of CQI. Instead of diverting the small percentage of budget devoted to pay for performance programmes it could be more profitable, for patients, to think of a better use for this money.
    Keywords: Healthcare Organization,Pay for performance
    Date: 2016–06–22

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