nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2018‒04‒09
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. How Do Gender Quotas Affect Hierarchical Relationships? Complementary Evidence from a Respresentative Survey and Labor Market Experiments By Edwin Ip; Andreas Leibbrandt; Joseph Vecci
  2. Pay-What-You-Want to Support Independent Information - A Field Experiment on Motivation By Alessandra Casarico; Mirco Tonin
  3. The Impact of Better Work: Firm Performance in Vietnam, Indonesia and Jordan By Drusilla Brown; Rajeev Dehejia; Raymond Robertson
  4. Incentives Can Reduce Bias in Online Reviews By Marinescu, Ioana E.; Klein, Nadav; Chamberlain, Andrew; Smart, Morgan
  5. Zombie Board: Board Tenure and Firm Performance By Sterling Huang; Gilles Hilary
  6. The Impact of Self-Selection on Performance By Kießling, Lukas; Radbruch, Jonas; Schaube, Sebastian

  1. By: Edwin Ip; Andreas Leibbrandt; Joseph Vecci
    Abstract: Gender quotas are frequently proposed to address persistent gender imbalances in managerial roles. However, it is unclear how quotas for female managers affect organizations and whether quotas improve or damage relationships between managers and their subordinates. We conduct a representative survey to study opinions on quotas for female managers and based upon design a novel set of experiments to investigate how quotas influence wage setting and effort provision. Our findings reveal that both opinions about gender quotas and workplace behavior crucially depend on the workplace environment. In our survey, we observe that approval for gender quotas is low if women are not disadvantaged in the manager selection process, regardless of whether there are gender differences in performance. Complementing this evidence, we observe in our experiments that quotas lead to lower effort levels and lower wages in such environments. By contrast, in environments in which women are disadvantaged in the selection process, we observe a higher approval of quotas as well as higher effort levels and higher wages. These findings are consistent with the concept of meritocracy and suggest that it is important to evaluate the existence of gender disadvantages in the workplace environment before implementing quotas.
    Keywords: gender quota, hierarchical relationships, fairness, meritocracy
    JEL: C92 J71 J30
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Alessandra Casarico; Mirco Tonin
    Abstract: Pay-what-you-want schemes can be a useful tool to finance high quality and independent news media without restricting readership, therefore guaranteeing maximum diffusion. We conduct a field experiment with the Italian information site to explore how to structure a campaign in a way that maximises readers’ willingness to contribute. We compare messages stressing two possible motivations to contribute, namely the public good component of the news or the importance of the individual contributions. We also test the effect of including information about the tax allowance associated with donations. While the particular motivation stressed does not have a significant impact, information about tax allowances surprisingly reduces overall donations, due to a reduction in the number of (small) donors. Stable unsubscriptions from the newsletter suggest that the campaign does not have an adverse effect on readers.
    Keywords: field experiment, pay-what-you-want, tax allowances, media
    JEL: C93 D64 H41
    Date: 2018
  3. By: Drusilla Brown; Rajeev Dehejia; Raymond Robertson
    Abstract: The impact of Better Work (ILO/OFC) is assessed on costs, profits, productivity and business terms for firms in Vietnam, Indonesia and Jordan. Participation in Better Work has a positive productivity effect on Vietnamese and Indonesian firms. Productivity gains are captured by workers in the form of higher pay. Unit costs rise due to increased compliance with payment requirements such as the minimum wage, paying as promised and mandated promotions. Despite the increase in wages, profits for firms in Better Work Vietnam and Indonesia increase due to improved business terms such as larger orders and possibly an increase in price. The impact of Better Work Jordan suggests that exposure to the program for individual firms may have temporarily increased costs and lowered profits. However, the Jordanian apparel industry becomes more profitable over time, suggesting a positive country reputation effect. Participation in Better Work and firm performance are not jointly determined by manager quality. Early entrants into Better Work are, on average, high cost-low profit firms.
    Keywords: high road, working conditions, supply chains, social compliance, International Labor Organization, supply chains.
    Date: 2018
  4. By: Marinescu, Ioana E. (University of Pennsylvania); Klein, Nadav (University of Chicago); Chamberlain, Andrew (Glassdoor, Inc.); Smart, Morgan (Glassdoor, Inc.)
    Abstract: Online reviews are a powerful means of propagating the reputations of products, services, and even employers. However, existing research suggests that online reviews often suffer from selection bias – people with extreme opinions are more motivated to share them than people with moderate opinions, resulting in biased distributions of reviews. Providing incentives for reviewing has the potential to reduce this selection bias, because incentives can mitigate the motivational deficit of people who hold moderate opinions. Using data from one of the leading employer review companies, Glassdoor, we show that voluntary reviews have a different distribution from incentivized reviews. The likely bias in the distribution of voluntary reviews can affect workers' choice of employers, because it changes the ranking of industries by average employee satisfaction. Because observational data from Glassdoor are not able to provide a measure of the true distribution of employer reviews, we complement our investigation with a randomized controlled experiment on MTurk. We find that when participants' decision to review their employer is voluntary, the resulting distribution of reviews differs from the distribution of forced reviews. Moreover, providing relatively high monetary rewards or a pro-social cue as incentives for reviewing reduces this bias. We conclude that while voluntary employer reviews often suffer from selection bias, incentives can significantly reduce bias and help workers make more informed employer choices.
    Keywords: employer reviews, bias, incentives
    JEL: J2 J28 L14 L86
    Date: 2018–02
  5. By: Sterling Huang; Gilles Hilary (Georgetown University - Georgetown University)
    Date: 2018–03–18
  6. By: Kießling, Lukas (University of Bonn); Radbruch, Jonas (IZA); Schaube, Sebastian (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: In many natural environments, carefully chosen peers influence individual behavior. In this paper, we examine how self-selected peers affect performance in contrast to randomly assigned ones. We conduct a field experiment in physical education classes at secondary schools. Students participate in a running task twice: first, the students run alone, then with a peer. Before the second run,we elicit preferences for peers. We experimentally vary the matching in the second run and form pairs either randomly or based on elicited preferences. Self-selected peers improve individual performance by .14-.15 SD relative to randomly assigned peers. While self-selection leads to more social ties and lower performance differences within pairs, this altered peer composition does not explain performance improvements. Rather, we provide evidence that self-selection has a direct effect on performance and provide several markers that the social interaction has changed.
    Keywords: field experiment, self-selection, peer effects, social comparison, peer assignment
    JEL: C93 D01 I20 J24 L23
    Date: 2018–02

This nep-hrm issue is ©2018 by Patrick Kampkötter. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.