nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2019‒10‒28
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Explaining the Gender Gap in Job Satisfaction By Redmond, Paul; McGuinness, Seamus
  2. Motivating Low-Achievers—Relative Performance Feedback in Primary Schools By Henning Hermes; Martin Huschens; Franz Rothlauf; Daniel Schunk
  3. Does Employee Happiness Have an Impact on Productivity? By Clément S. Bellet; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; George Ward
  4. The viability of the bank advisory service business model - effects of customers' trust, satisfaction and loyalty on client-level performance By Eriksson, Kent; Hermansson, Cecilia; Jonsson, Sara
  5. Board of directors and export-spillovers: What is the impact on extensive margins of trade? By Lööf, Hans; Viklund-Ros, Ingrid
  6. Organizational Design with Portable Skills By Luca Picariello
  7. Valuable experience: How internships affect university graduates’ income By Thomas Bolli; Katherine Caves; Maria Esther Oswald-Egg
  8. Trust in Humans and Robots: Economically Similar but Emotionally Different By Timothy Shields; Eric Schniter; Daniel Sznycer

  1. By: Redmond, Paul (ESRI, Dublin); McGuinness, Seamus (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)
    Abstract: In general, women report greater job satisfaction than men. The existing literature cannot fully explain the nature of this difference, as the gap tends to persist even when controlling for job characteristics. In this paper, we study job satisfaction using recent data for 28 EU countries. Women, on average, are more satisfied than men and the gap remains even when we account for a wide range of personal, job and family characteristics. However, the gap disappears when we include job preferences, as women place greater importance on work-life balance and the intrinsic desirability of the work.
    Keywords: job satisfaction, job preferences, gender
    JEL: J16 J28 J24
    Date: 2019–10
  2. By: Henning Hermes (NHH Norwegian School of Economics); Martin Huschens (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Franz Rothlauf (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz); Daniel Schunk (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
    Abstract: Relative performance feedback ( RPF ) has often been shown to improve effort and performance in the workplace and educational settings. Yet, many studies also document substantial negative effects of RPF, in particular for low-achievers. We study a novel type of RPF designed to overcome these negative effects of RPF on low-achievers by scoring individual performance improvements. With a sample of about 400 children, we conduct a class-wise randomized-controlled trial in regular teaching lessons in primary schools. We demonstrate that this type of RPF significantly increases motivation, effort, and performance in math for low-achieving children, without hurting high-achieving children. Among low-achievers, those receiving more points and moving up in the ranking improved strongest on motivation and math performance. In addition, we document substantial gender differences in response to this type of RPF: improvements in motivation and learning are much stronger for girls. We argue that using this novel type of RPF could potentially reduce inequalities, especially in educational settings.
    Keywords: relative performance feedback, rankings, randomized-controlled trial, education, gender differences, inequality
    Date: 2019–06–23
  3. By: Clément S. Bellet; Jan-Emmanuel De Neve; George Ward
    Abstract: This article provides quasi-experimental evidence on the relationship between employee happiness and productivity in the field. We study the universe of call center sales workers at British Telecom (BT), one of the United Kingdom's largest private employers. We measure their happiness over a 6-month period using a novel weekly survey instrument, and link these reports with highly detailed administrative data on workplace behaviors and various measures of employee performance. We show that workers make around 13% more sales in weeks where they report being happy compared to weeks when they are unhappy. Exploiting exogenous variation in employee happiness arising from weather shocks local to each of the 11 call centers, we document a strong causal effect of happiness on labor productivity. These effects are driven by workers making more calls per hour, adhering more closely to their workflow schedule, and converting more calls into sales when they are happier. No effects are found in our setting of happiness on various measures of high-frequency labor supply such as attendance and break taking.
    Keywords: happiness, productivity
    JEL: D03 J24 M5 I31
    Date: 2019–10
  4. By: Eriksson, Kent (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology); Hermansson, Cecilia (Department of Real Estate and Construction Management, Royal Institute of Technology); Jonsson, Sara (Stockholm University)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the viability of the relationship-oriented business model of the bank advisory service function and tests its viability considering differences in clients’ risk tolerance and financial literacy. Specifically, it investigates the effects of bank customers’ satisfaction, loyalty, and trust in bank advisors on two client level performance measures; client level non-interest revenue and client-level revenue on net interest spread. It further investigates how effects are moderated by differences in clients’ risk tolerance and financial literacy. The findings are based on analyzes of a data set that combines survey data (collected from 13,525 bank clients in 2013) with bank record data from each respondent. The cross sectional data is analyzed using OLS- regression and structural equation modeling. Findings show that trust has a positive direct effect on client level non-interest revenue. Further, trust mediates the entire impact of satisfaction and loyalty on client-level non-interest revenue. Customer satisfaction and loyalty do not lead to enhanced client-level non-interest revenue if there is limited trust in bank advisors. Findings further show that the relevance of trust for non-interest revenue is higher for clients with high risk tolerance and high financial literacy. Satisfaction, loyalty, and trust have no effect, however, on client-level revenue on net interest rate spread.
    Keywords: bank; revenue; trust; satisfaction; loyalty; financial literacy; financial risk tolerance
    JEL: G21 M21
    Date: 2019–10–18
  5. By: Lööf, Hans (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology); Viklund-Ros, Ingrid (CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology)
    Abstract: Increased export experience on the board of non-exporting firms has a causal effect on their propensity to enter foreign markets in later periods. Using a universal set of Swedish employer-employee panel data for the period 2000-2014, this paper finds evidence on spillover from exporters to non-exporters through outside board directors. The identification strategy to account for endogenous selection of external board members relies on external instruments and applications of different instrumental variable approaches, capturing also unobserved heterogeneity. Our findings are robust to controlling for export background among managers and employees, as well as firm size, human capital, total factor productivity, productivity spillovers, firm location and industry classification.
    Keywords: Export spillovers; extensive margins of trade; outside directors; employer-employee data; endogeneity
    JEL: C26 F14 L20 M20 O33
    Date: 2019–10–16
  6. By: Luca Picariello (Università di Napoli Federico II and CSEF.)
    Abstract: Workers can move across firms and carry along portable human capital. I present a model where workers' talent is observable but task allocation is non-contractible. To reduce mobility firms may inefficiently match workers with tasks that reduce their outside option. I show that by organizing the firm as an equity-partnership, the efficient task allocation can be implemented and profits increase. This result is attained by shifting control rights to workers who become partners, decide over task allocation and earn dividends as compensation. This provides a new rationale for the widespread presence of firms organized as partnerships in human-capital intensive industries.
    Keywords: Task Allocation, Retention, Control Rights, Partnerships.
    JEL: D86 J24 J54 M52
    Date: 2019–10–22
  7. By: Thomas Bolli (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Katherine Caves (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland); Maria Esther Oswald-Egg (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes whether and how attending an internship during tertiary education affects income. We address endogeneity with an IV approach that exploits information regarding whether the internship was a mandatory component of the study. We further address selection into programs with mandatory internship by using the share of mandatory internships at the closest university, exploiting the low mobility of Swiss students. The results suggest that doing an internship increases income. In contrast to the literature on internships we find that the effect mainly works by increasing human capital rather than through signaling, and mainly works through general rather than firm- or field-specific human capital.
    Keywords: Internship, Income, Human capital, Signaling, Soft skills, Experience
    JEL: I23 J01 J31
    Date: 2019–08
  8. By: Timothy Shields (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University; Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University); Eric Schniter (Economic Science Institute, Chapman University; Argyros School of Business and Economics, Chapman University); Daniel Sznycer (Department of Psychology, University of Montreal)
    Abstract: Trust-based interactions with robots are increasingly common in the marketplace, workplace, on the road, and in the home. However, a looming concern is that people may not trust robots as they do humans. While trust in fellow humans has been studied extensively, little is known about how people extend trust to robots. Here we compare trust-based investments and emotions from across three nearly identical economic games: human-human trust games, human-robot trust games, and human-robot trust games where the robot decision impacts another human. Robots in our experiment mimic humans: they are programmed to make reciprocity decisions based on previously observed behaviors by humans in analogous situations. We find that people invest similarly in humans and robots. By contrast, the social emotions elicited by the interactions (but not non-social emotions) differed across human and robot trust games, and did so lawfully. Emotional reactions depended on how one’s trust game decision interacted with the partnered agent’s decision, and whether another person was affected economically and emotionally.
    Keywords: Trust; Robots; Artificial Intellgience; Emotion; Experiment
    Date: 2018

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