nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2017‒11‒26
ten papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Mutual Gains? Is There a Role for Employee Engagement in the Modern Workplace? By Bryson, Alex
  2. Capitalists in the 21st Century By Owen Zidar; Eric Zwick; Danny Yagan; Matthew Smith
  3. Investing in human capital to boost growth! By Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Pastore, Francesco
  5. Managing the family firm: evidence from CEOs at work By Bandiera, Oriana; Prat, Andrea; Lemos, Renata; Sadun, Raffaella
  6. Measuring Success in Education: The Role of Effort on the Test Itself By Uri Gneezy; John A. List; Jeffrey A. Livingston; Sally Sadoff; Xiangdong Qin; Yang Xu
  7. Education and work-related mental health - higher educated employees are worse off By Pikos, Anna Katharina
  8. Not for the Profit, but for the Training? Gender Differences in Training in the For-Profit and Non-Profit Sectors By Dostie, Benoit; Javdani, Mohsen
  9. Turbulence, firm decentralization and growth in bad times By Aghion, Philippe; Bloom, Nick; Lucking, Brian; Sadun, Raffaella; Van Reenen, John
  10. Occupational Match Quality and Gender over Two Cohorts By Addison, John T.; Chen, Liwen; Ozturk, Orgul Demet

  1. By: Bryson, Alex (University College London)
    Abstract: I examine the history of employee engagement and how it has been characterised by thinkers in sociology, psychology, management and economics. I suggest that, while employers may choose to invest in employee engagement, there are alternative management strategies that may be profit-maximising. I identify four elements of employee engagement – job 'flow', autonomous working, involvement in decision-making at workplace or firm level, and financial participation – and present empirical evidence on their incidence and employee perceptions of engagement, drawing primarily from evidence in Britain. I consider the evidence regarding the existence of mutual gains and present new evidence on the issue. I find a non-linear relationship between human resource management (HRM) intensity and various employee job attitudes. I also find the intensity of HRM use and employee engagement are independently associated with improvements in workplace performance. I consider the implications of the findings for policy and employment practice in the future.
    Keywords: employee engagement, productivity, performance, human resource management, worker wellbeing
    JEL: J24 J28 L22 L23 M12 M54
    Date: 2017–10
  2. By: Owen Zidar (University of Chicago); Eric Zwick (University of Chicago); Danny Yagan (University of California, Berkeley); Matthew Smith (US Dept of Treasury)
    Abstract: We study rising business income among top income households using a large sample of U.S. firms linked to their owners and workers from 1999-2015. We establish four findings. First, business income growth accounts for nearly all of the rise in top income inequality in the 21st century. Second, business income growth is broad-based across sectors and not concentrated among a few top firms. Third, top-owned firms earn higher profit margins than other firms, which is primarily due to diverging firm performance rather than reallocation of top ownership, risk, or disguised labor payments for tax minimization. Fourth, profits have increased most in firms that rely on high-skilled human capital, especially when deployed at the top of the organization. Our findings suggest that market-based forces play a leading role in generating not only labor income inequality, but also capital income inequality. These findings have implications for central issues in economics: the measurement and determinants of income inequality and the labor share, the dispersion in firm productivity, the returns to schooling, and taxation of top labor and capital income.
    Date: 2017
  3. By: Caroleo, Floro Ernesto; Pastore, Francesco
    Abstract: The Italian economy performs well below the EU average. The reason is a dramatic and persistent low rate of investment, always invoked but never supported by national and supra-national institutions. However, investment to increase the quantity and quality of human capital is key to boost economic growth and cannot be achieved without adequate financial resources. At the same time, the educational system needs to relaunch university reforms (including the Gelmini and 3+2 reforms) which have been unsuccessful so far because they were poorly implemented. Last but not least, more and better ties between the educational system and the labor market should be developed as soon as possible.
    Keywords: Public Investment,Aggregate Human capital,Economic Growth,Educational Reforms,3+2 University Reform
    JEL: E22 E24 H54 I25 I28 J24
    Date: 2017
  4. By: Çi?dem Kaya (Istanbul Arel University); Göksel Ataman (Marmara University); Birsen Yener Ayd?n (Department of Management and Organization, Marmara University, Istanbul)
    Abstract: This study investigates the relationship between workplace ostracism and work engagement of the employees in the local governments and whether neuroticism, one of the personality traits, has a role on this relationship. Convenience sampling was used and data were obtained from a sample of 369 employees from two municipalities. The results show that there is a negative relationship between workplace ostracism and work engagement. Moreover, neuroticism moderates the negative relationship between workplace ostracism and work engagement. Overall, the results show that work engagement decreases as workplace ostracism increases, and highly neurotic employees are more negatively affected by workplace ostracism. Local governments may utilize the results in their efforts to create an environment fostering work engagement. Leaders may apply the study outcomes about the role of employee personality and workplace ostracism to improve their service performance.
    Keywords: Workplace ostracism, Work engagement, Neuroticism, Local governments
    JEL: M10 M12 M19
    Date: 2017–10
  5. By: Bandiera, Oriana; Prat, Andrea; Lemos, Renata; Sadun, Raffaella
    Abstract: We present evidence on the labor supply of CEOs, and on whether family and professional CEOs di↵er on this dimension. We do so through a new survey instrument that allows us to codify CEOs’ diaries in a detailed and comparable fashion, and to build a bottom-up measure of CEO labor supply. The comparison of 1,114 family and professional CEOs reveals that family CEOs work 9% fewer hours relative to professional CEOs. Hours worked are positively correlated with firm performance, and di↵erences between family and non-family CEOs account for approximately 18% of the performance gap between family and non-family firms. We investigate the sources of the di↵erences in CEO labor supply across governance types by exploiting firm and industry heterogeneity, and quasi-exogenous meteorological and sport events. The evidence suggests that family CEOs value–or can pursue–leisure activities relatively more than professional CEOs.
    JEL: J1
    Date: 2017–06–14
  6. By: Uri Gneezy; John A. List; Jeffrey A. Livingston; Sally Sadoff; Xiangdong Qin; Yang Xu
    Abstract: Tests measuring and comparing educational achievement are an important policy tool. We experimentally show that offering students extrinsic incentives to put forth effort on such achievement tests has differential effects across cultures. Offering incentives to U.S. students, who generally perform poorly on assessments, improved performance substantially. In contrast, Shanghai students, who are top performers on assessments, were not affected by incentives. Our findings suggest that in the absence of extrinsic incentives, ranking countries based on low-stakes assessments is problematic because test scores reflect differences in intrinsic motivation to perform well on the test itself, and not just differences in ability.
    JEL: C93 I24
    Date: 2017–11
  7. By: Pikos, Anna Katharina
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the relationship between work-related mental health and education in the German working population using cross sectional survey data from 2006 and 2012. Low education is associated with lower mild health problems, higher education with increased mild and medium severe problems. In the Job Demands and Resources model, work-related mental health problems arise from an imbalance between job demands and resources. Low education is significantly associated with lower job demands and resources but not with a different stress perception of missing resources. Higher educated have significantly higher demands and resources and perceive high job demands as more stressful. Education is also associated with less job satisfaction but there is suggestive evidence for monetary and some non-monetary compensation.
    Keywords: work-related mental health; returns to education; job satisfaction
    JEL: I10 J28
    Date: 2017–11
  8. By: Dostie, Benoit (HEC Montreal); Javdani, Mohsen (University of British Columbia, Okanagan)
    Abstract: We use Canadian linked employer-employee data to examine gender differences in probability, duration, and intensity of firm-sponsored training. We find that women in the for-profit sector are less likely to receive classroom training, and receive shorter classroom training courses. However, we find the reverse in the non-profit sector, with women being more likely to receive both classroom and on-the-job training, and also receiving longer classroom training courses. Our results suggest that women's worse training opportunities in the for-profit sector mainly operate within workplaces. We find no evidence that gender gaps in training in the for-profit sector are driven by lower probabilities of accepting training offers, child or family commitments, weaker labour market attachment, or worker self-selection. We also find that gender differences in expected changes in wages and training opportunities between the two sectors can explain a large portion of women's higher probability of employment in the non-profit sector. Finally, decomposition results suggest that gender differences in training explain some of the gender wage gap in the for-profit sector, which is twice as large than in the non-profit sector.
    Keywords: gender, non-profit, firm-sponsored training, linked employer-employee data, gender wage gap
    JEL: J24 L22 M53 O32
    Date: 2017–10
  9. By: Aghion, Philippe; Bloom, Nick; Lucking, Brian; Sadun, Raffaella; Van Reenen, John
    Abstract: What is the optimal form of firm organization during “bad times”? Using two large micro datasets on firm decentralization from US administrative data and 10 OECD countries, we find that firms that delegated more power from the Central Headquarters to local plant managers prior to the Great Recession out-performed their centralized counterparts in sectors that were hardest hit by the subsequent crisis. We present a model where higher turbulence benefits decentralized firms because the value of local information and urgent action increases. Since turbulence rises in severe downturns,decentralized firms do relatively better. We show that the data support our model over alternative explanations such as recession-induced reduction in agency costs (due to managerial fears of bankruptcy) and changing coordination costs. Countries with more decentralized firms (like the US) weathered the 2008-09 Great Recession better: these organizational differences could account for about 16% of international differences in post-crisis GDP growth.
    Keywords: decentralization; growth; turbulence; great recession
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2017–04
  10. By: Addison, John T. (University of South Carolina); Chen, Liwen (University of South Carolina); Ozturk, Orgul Demet (University of South Carolina)
    Abstract: Job mobility, especially early in a career, is an important source of wage growth. This effect is typically attributed to heterogeneity in the quality of employee-employer matches, with individuals learning of their abilities and discovering the tasks at which they are most productive through job search. That is, job mobility enables better matches, and individuals move to better their labor market prospects and settle once they find a satisfactory match. In this paper, we show that there are gender differences in match quality and changes in match quality over the course of careers. In particular, we find that females are mismatched more than males. This is true even for females with the best early-career matches. However, the direction of the gender effect differs significantly by education. Only females among the college educated are more mismatched and are more likely to be over-qualified then their male counterparts. These results are seemingly driven by life events, such as child birth. For their part, college-educated males of the younger cohort are worse off in terms of match quality compared to the older cohort, while the new generation of women is doing better on average.
    Keywords: multidimensional skills, occupational mismatch, match quality, wages, gender wage gap, fertility, fertility timing
    JEL: J3 J16 J22 J24 J31 J33 N3
    Date: 2017–10

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