nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2019‒10‒14
seven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The Effects of Job Characteristics on Retirement By Péter Hudomiet; Michael D. Hurd; Andrew Parker; Susann Rohwedder
  2. The Gender Gap in Self-Promotion By Christine L. Exley; Judd B. Kessler
  3. Do firms manage pay inequality? By Willman, Paul; Pepper, Alexander
  4. International Talent Inflow and R&D Investment: Firm-level Evidence from China By Hao Wei; Ran Yuan; Laixun Zhao
  5. Rent sharing and inclusive growth By Bell, Brian; Bukowski, Pawel; Machin, Stephen
  6. Effectively Involving Low-SES Parents in Human Capital Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment By Haelermans, Carla; Ghysels, Joris
  7. Experimentation in Organizations By Sofia Moroni

  1. By: Péter Hudomiet; Michael D. Hurd; Andrew Parker; Susann Rohwedder
    Abstract: This paper presents results based on a survey fielded in the RAND American Life Panel that queried older workers about their current, desired, and expected job characteristics, and about how certain job characteristics would affect their retirement. Having access to flexible work hours was found to be the most consistent predictor of retirement expectations. For example, we estimated that the fraction of individuals working after age 70 would be 32.2% if all workers had flexible hours, while the fraction working would be 17.2% if none had the option of flexible hours. We further found that job stress, physical and cognitive job demands, the option to telecommute, and commuting times were also strong predictors of retirement expectations. By comparing workers’ current job characteristics with those that individuals desire, we show that people would like preretirement jobs to be less cognitively and physically demanding and more sociable compared to their current jobs. We also find that most workers worry about their health and the demands of their jobs when they think about their future work trajectory, but relatively few were worried that their employers would retain them. Having access to part-time jobs, and expected longevity were less important predictors of retirement.
    JEL: J14 J24 J26
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Christine L. Exley; Judd B. Kessler
    Abstract: In job applications, job interviews, performance reviews, and a wide range of other environments, individuals are explicitly asked or implicitly invited to assess their own performance. In a series of experiments, we find that women rate their performance less favorably than equally performing men. This gender gap in self-promotion is notably persistent. It stays just as strong when we eliminate gender differences in confidence about performance and when we eliminate strategic incentives to engage in self-promotion. Because of the prevalence of self-promotion opportunities, this self-promotion gap may contribute to the persistent gender gap in education and labor market outcomes.
    JEL: C91 D90 J16
    Date: 2019–10
  3. By: Willman, Paul; Pepper, Alexander
    Abstract: We examine the role of the modern firm in generating income inequality. Specifically, we consider the growth in the use of asset-based rewards for senior executives, combined with continued use of salaries and wages for other employees, and the impact this has on measures of inequality within firms. Our paper presents data on intra firm inequality from the UK FTSE 100 for the period 2000-2015. It looks at ratios of CEO to average earnings and attempts to explain both the growth in inequality on this measure and the extent of variance between firms. It distinguishes between a period of “administered inequality” up to the early 1980’s when intra-firm processes defined differential pay and a subsequent one of “outsourced inequality” when capital market measures dominate executive pay. In the latter period, intra firm inequality measures are defined by upward movements in capital market measures and the extent of outsourcing of low paid work.
    Keywords: executive compensation; intra-firm inequality; salaries & wages
    JEL: D31 J31 M21
    Date: 2019–03
  4. By: Hao Wei (Department of International Economics, Beijing Normal University); Ran Yuan (Department of International Economics, Beijing Normal University); Laixun Zhao (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)
    Abstract: Using firm-level R&D data with regional international talent data, we find that international talent increases the R&D investment of Chinese manufacturing firms, a result that is further confirmed with patent data and under a number of robustness checks. These findings stem from two mechanisms: international talent boosts human capital accumulation and provides a diversified labor force. Further, the R&D promoting effect is stronger if firms are located in eastern China rather than in other regions, of small and medium-sized rather than large-sized, of domestic ownership rather than foreign ownership. The policy implication is, the introduction of international talent can be a new way to promoting R&D investment, especially for skilled-labor constrained countries.
    Keywords: International talent inflow, Manufacturing firms, R&D, Patent application
    JEL: F16 F22 O32
    Date: 2019–09
  5. By: Bell, Brian; Bukowski, Pawel; Machin, Stephen
    Abstract: The long-run evolution of rent sharing is empirically studied. Based upon a comprehensive and harmonized panel of the top 300 publicly quoted British companies over thirty five years, the paper reports evidence of a significant fall over time in the extent to which firms share rents with workers. It confirms that companies do share their profits with employees, but at much smaller scale today than they did during the 1980s and 1990s. This is a robust finding, corroborated with industry-level analysis for the US and EU. The decline in rent sharing is coincident with the rise of product market power that has occurred as worker bargaining power has dropped. Although firms with more market power previously shared more of their profits, they experienced a stronger fall in rent sharing after 2000.
    Keywords: rent sharing; inclusive growth
    JEL: J30
    Date: 2019–02
  6. By: Haelermans, Carla (General Economics 2 (Macro)); Ghysels, Joris (vdab, brussels)
    Abstract: In this paper we analyze the effect of involving parents in human capital investment. We study the effect of a parental app on student effort in a digital homework practice tool, and its effect on subsequent human capital development. The randomized field experiment includes more than 2000 7-9 grade students of 2 schools and we specifically focus on different socio-economic status (SES) groups. The results indicate that parental involvement via an app positively affects effort and human capital development of 7th and 8th grade students, but not of 9th grade students. The positive effects are mainly driven by low-SES students and are larger for males.
    Keywords: parental involvement, randomized field experiment, Socio-Economic Status, SES, student effort, human capital development, secondary education
    JEL: I20 I21 I24 C93
    Date: 2019–10–08
  7. By: Sofia Moroni
    Abstract: We consider a moral hazard problem in which a principal provides incentives to a team ofagents to work on a risky project. The project consists of two milestones of unknown feasibility.While working unsuccessfully, the agents’ private beliefs regarding the feasibility of theproject decline. This learning requires the principal to provide rents to prevent the agents fromprocrastinating and free-riding on others’ discoveries. To reduce these rents the principal stopsthe project inefficiently early and gives identical agents asymmetric experimentation assignments.The principal prefers to reward agents with better contract terms or task assignmentsrather than monetary bonuses.
    Date: 2019–01

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