nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2018‒10‒22
five papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Subjective Performance of Patent Examiners, Implicit Contracts and Self-Funded Patent Offices By Langinier, Corinne; Marcoul, Philippe
  2. Training and Changes in Job Tasks By Tamm, Marcus
  3. Gender differences in top leadership roles: Does aversion to worker backlash matter? By Priyanka Chakraborty; Danila Serra
  4. Employment adjustments following rises and reductions in minimum wages: New insights from a survey experiment By Bossler, Mario; Oberfichtner, Michael; Schnabel, Claus
  5. Why did Rich Families Increase their Fertility? Inequality and Marketization of Child Care By Bar, Michael; Hazan, Moshe; Leukhina, Oksana; Weiss, David; Zoabi, Hosny

  1. By: Langinier, Corinne (University of Alberta, Department of Economics); Marcoul, Philippe (University of Alberta)
    Abstract: Self-funded patent offices should be concerned with patent quality (patents should be granted to only deserving innovations) and quantity (as revenues come from fees paid by applicants). In this context, we investigate what is the impact of the self-funded constraint on different bonus contracts, and how these contracts affect the examiners incentive to prosecute patent applications. We consider contracts in which a patent office offers bonuses on quantity quotas (explicit contract) and on quality outcome (either an implicit contract or an explicit contract based on a quality proxy). We find that a self-funded constrained agency should make different organization choices of incentives. For a low quality proxy precision, an agency facing a tight budget operates well with implicit contracts. However, by only relaxing moderately the budget constraint, the agency might be worse off simply because this will preclude implicit contracts. Only very large patenting fees might allow the agency to compensate for the loss of implicit contracts.
    Keywords: Patents; Examiners; Explicit and Implicit Contracts; Self-funded Agency
    JEL: D23 D86 O34
    Date: 2018–10–18
  2. By: Tamm, Marcus (RWI)
    Abstract: This study investigates the impact of non-formal training on job tasks of workers. The analysis is based on panel data from Germany covering detailed information on tasks performed at work at the level of individual workers. The results indicate that after training workers are more engaged in non-routine interactive tasks than they were before training. Analyses by topic of training reveal considerable heterogeneity in the impact of training on job tasks. In particular, it is "communication and soft skills" training which is associated with more non-routine interactive tasks.
    Keywords: job tasks, routinization, returns to education, training
    JEL: J24 J62 O33
    Date: 2018–08
  3. By: Priyanka Chakraborty (Southern Methodist University); Danila Serra (Southern Methodist University)
    Abstract: Top leadership positions involve the necessity of making decisions, like promotions, demotions and dismissals, which please some employees and upset others. We examine whether gender differences in aversion to the possibility of worker backlash may contribute to the gender leadership gap. We address this question through a novel laboratory experiment that simulates corporate decision-making. We find that: 1) women are significantly less likely to self-select into a managerial position when facing the possibility of receiving angry messages from employees; 2) once in a leadership position, women perform no differently than men; 3) male and female managers have different leadership styles; and 4) female managers receive significantly more angry messages from employees.
    Keywords: Gender differences, leadership, experiment.
    JEL: C92 D91 J16
    Date: 2018–10
  4. By: Bossler, Mario; Oberfichtner, Michael; Schnabel, Claus
    Abstract: The effects of large minimum wage increases, like those planned in the UK and in some US states, are still unknown. We conduct a survey experiment that randomly assigns increases or decreases in minimum wages to about 6,000 plants in Germany and asks the personnel managers about their expectations concerning employment adjustments. We find that employment reacts asymmetrically to positive and negative changes in minimum wages. The larger the increase in the minimum wage is, the larger the expected reduction in employment. Employment adjustments are more pronounced in those industries and plants which are more strongly affected by the current minimum wage and in those plants that have neither collective agreements nor a works council. In contrast, employment is not found to increase if the minimum wage is reduced by about 10 percent. This mainly reflects that plants with works councils and collective agreements would not cut wages.
    Keywords: minimum wage,wage cuts,establishment survey,Germany
    JEL: J31 J23 D22
    Date: 2018
  5. By: Bar, Michael (San Francisco State University); Hazan, Moshe (Tel-Aviv University; CEPR); Leukhina, Oksana (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis); Weiss, David (Tel Aviv University); Zoabi, Hosny (New Economic School)
    Abstract: A negative relationship between income and fertility has persisted for so long that its existence is often taken for granted. One economic theory builds on this relationship and argues that rising inequality leads to greater differential fertility between rich and poor. We show that the relationship between income and fertility has flattened between 1980 and 2010 in the US, a time of increasing inequality, as high income families increased their fertility. These facts challenge the standard theory. We propose that marketization of parental time costs can explain the changing relationship between income and fertility. We show this result both theoretically and quantitatively, after disciplining the model on US data. We explore implications of changing differential fertility for aggregate human capital. Additionally, policies, such as the minimum wage, that affect the cost of marketization, have a negative effect on the fertility and labor supply of high income women. We end by discussing the insights of this theory to the economics of marital sorting.
    Keywords: Income Inequality; Marketization; Differential Fertility; Human Capital; Minimum Wage
    JEL: E24 J13 J24 J31 J38
    Date: 2018–09–25

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