nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2018‒06‒11
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Increasing Workplace Diversity: Evidence from a Recruiting Experiment at a Fortune 500 Company By Jeffrey A. Flory; Andreas Leibbrandt; Christina Rott; Olga Stoddard
  2. Are Schools Different? Wellbeing and Commitment among Staff in Schools and Elsewhere By Bryson, Alex; Stokes, Lucy; Wilkinson, David
  3. Using Social Connections and Financial Incentives to Solve Coordination Failure: A Quasi-Field Experiment in India's Manufacturing Sector By Afridi, Farzana; Dhillon, Amrita; Li, Sherry Xin; Sharma, Swati
  4. Investing in People: The Case for Human Capital Tax Credits By Rui Costa; Nikhil Datta; Stephen Machin; Sandra McNally
  5. Team-specific capital and innovation By Jaravel, Xavier; Petkova, Neviana; Bell, Alex
  6. Working time flexibility and parental ‘quality time’ spent with children By Iga Magda; Roma Keister
  7. The Geography of Alternative Work By Bäckman , Claes; Hanspal , Tobin
  8. Sales Performance and Social Preferences By Andrea Essl; Frauke von Bieberstein; Michael Kosfeld; Markus Kröll

  1. By: Jeffrey A. Flory; Andreas Leibbrandt; Christina Rott; Olga Stoddard
    Abstract: The persistent lack of workplace diversity in management and leadership may lead to organizational vulnerabilities. White males occupy most high-profile positions in the largest U.S. corporations whereas African Americans, Hispanics, and women are clearly underrepresented in leadership roles. While many firms and other organizations have set ambitious goals to increase demographic diversity, there is a dearth of empirical evidence on effective ways to reach them. We use a natural field experiment to test several hypotheses on effective means to attract minority candidates for top professional careers. By randomly varying the content in recruiting materials of a major financial services corporation with over 10,000 employees, we test different types of signals regarding the extent and manner in which the employer values diversity among its workers. We find that signaling explicit interest in employee diversity can reverse the ethnicity gap in rates of interest and applications, and that it has a strong positive effect on interest in openings among racial minority candidates, the likelihood that they apply, and the probability that they are selected. These results uncover an effective method for disrupting monocultures in management through a minor intervention that influences sorting among job-seekers into high-profile careers.
    Keywords: diversity, experiment, field experiment, gender, race
    JEL: J15 J16 C93 D22
    Date: 2018
  2. By: Bryson, Alex (University College London); Stokes, Lucy (National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR)); Wilkinson, David (University College London)
    Abstract: Using nationally representative linked employer-employee data for Britain in 2004 and 2011 we find school staff are more satisfied and more contented with their jobs than "like" employees in other workplaces. The differentials are largely accounted for by the occupations school employees undertake and perceptions of job quality. School employees are also more committed to their organization than non-school employees, a difference that remains large and statistically significant having conditioned on job quality, human resource management practices (HRM), managerial style and other features of employees' working environment. Using panel data for workplaces and their employees observed in 2004 and 2011 we find increases in organizational commitment are linked to improvements in workplace performance in schools, but not in other workplaces.
    Keywords: schools, teachers, job satisfaction, job contentment, organizational commitment, school performance, human resource management, managerial style
    JEL: I21
    Date: 2018–04
  3. By: Afridi, Farzana (Indian Statistical Institute); Dhillon, Amrita (King's College London); Li, Sherry Xin (University of Texas at Dallas); Sharma, Swati (Indian Statistical Institute)
    Abstract: Production processes are often organised in teams, yet there is limited evidence on whether and how social connections and financial incentives affect productivity in tasks that require coordination among workers. We simulate assembly line production in a lab-in-the-field experiment in which workers exert real effort in a minimum-effort game in teams whose members are either socially connected or unconnected and are paid according to the group output. We find that group output increases by 15% and wasted individual output is lower by 30% when workers are socially connected with their co-workers. Unlike the findings of existing research, increasing the power of group-based financial incentives does not reduce the positive effect of social connections. Our results are driven by men whose average productivity is significantly lower than that of women. These findings can be explained by pro-social behavior of workers in socially connected teams.
    Keywords: caste-based networks, social incentives, financial incentives, minimum effort game, coordination, trust
    JEL: C93 D20 D22 D24 J33
    Date: 2018–05
  4. By: Rui Costa (London School of Economics); Nikhil Datta (London School of Economics); Stephen Machin (University College London); Sandra McNally (London School of Economics)
    Abstract: Estimates from the US suggest that increasing levels of human capital over the second half of the last century accounted for approximately one third of productivity growth, while some estimates of the social rate of return to R&D in the manufacturing sector have exceeded one hundred percent. Despite the contribution of both human capital and R&D to economic growth, the UK fiscal system does not treat the two equally when it comes to employer incentives to invest. Firms that invest in R&D are able to claim generous tax relief on their investments whereas there is no such across-the-board incentive to invest in the training of their workers. This is despite the fact that the rationale for government support to firm investment in human capital is similar to that for R&D and both are important for economic growth. We explain the economic rationale for government support in the form of tax credits, discuss current practice in the UK in relation to R&D, and address the evidence on effectiveness. We then discuss how the policy might be adapted to provide similar incentives for investing in human capital.
    Keywords: human capital, research and development, r&d, tax relief, United Kingdom
    JEL: H23 J24 O30
    Date: 2018–05
  5. By: Jaravel, Xavier; Petkova, Neviana; Bell, Alex
    Abstract: We establish the importance of team-specific capital in the typical inventor's career. Using administrative tax and patent data for the population of US patent inventors from 1996 to 2012, we find that an inventor's premature death causes a large and long-lasting decline in their co-inventor's earnings and citation-weighted patents (–4 percent and –15 percent after 8 years, respectively). After ruling out firm disruption, network effects, and top-down spillovers as main channels, we show that the effect is driven by close-knit teams and that team-specific capital largely results from an "experience" component increasing collaboration value over time.
    JEL: J24 J31 M54 O31 O34
    Date: 2018–04
  6. By: Iga Magda; Roma Keister
    Abstract: The aim of our paper is to analyse the relationship between working time flexibility and parental time devoted to children. Using data from a large panel survey of Polish households carried out in 2013 and 2014 (Determinants of Educational Decisions Household Panel Survey, UDE) we investigate whether and how various dimensions of working time flexibility affect the amount of time parents spend with their children reading, playing or teaching them new things. We account for employment status of parents, their socio-economic status and social and cultural norms they share. Our results show that employment status of parents and their working time arrangements are not statistically significant for the amount of parental ‘quality time’ devoted to children. We show that these are parental human and cultural capital and their values that are primary factors determining the amount of parental time investments.
    Keywords: working time flexibility, parental time investments, child care, ‘quality time with children’
    JEL: J13 J22 J81
    Date: 2018–05
  7. By: Bäckman , Claes (Department of Economics, Lund University); Hanspal , Tobin (Research Center SAFE, Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany)
    Abstract: The increase in alternative working arrangements has sparked a debate over the positive impact of increased flexibility against the negative impact of decreased financial security. We study the prevalence and determinants of intermediated work in order to document the relative importance of the arguments for and against this recent labor market trend. We link data on individual participation and losses from a Federal Trade Commission settlement with a Multi-Level Marketing firm with detailed county-level information. Participation is greater in middle-income areas and in areas where female labor market non-participation is higher, suggesting that flexibility offers real benefits. However, losses from MLM participation are higher in areas with lower education levels and higher income inequality, suggesting that the downsides of alternative work are particularly high in certain demographics. Our results illustrate that the advantages and disadvantages of alternative work arrangements accrue to different groups.
    Keywords: Intermediated work; Multi-level marketing; Gig-economy; Entrepreneurship; Consumer financial protection
    JEL: G21 J21 J22 L26
    Date: 2018–05–30
  8. By: Andrea Essl; Frauke von Bieberstein; Michael Kosfeld; Markus Kröll
    Abstract: We use an incentivized experimental game to uncover heterogeneity in other-regarding preferences among salespeople in a large Austrian retail chain. Our results show that the majority of agents take the welfare of others into account but a significant fraction reveals self-regarding behavior. Matching individual behavior in the game with firm data on sales performance shows that higher concern for others is significantly associated with higher revenue per customer. At the same time, it is also associated with fewer sales per day. Both effects offset each other, so that the overall association with total sales revenue becomes insignificant. Our findings highlight the nuanced role of self- vs. other-regarding concerns in sales contexts with important implications for management and marketing research.
    Keywords: other-regarding preferences, sales performance, experimental games
    JEL: C91 D91 M31
    Date: 2018

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