nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2020‒02‒10
seven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Do women ask for lower salaries? The supply side of the gender pay gap By Martín González Rozada; Eduardo Levy Yeyati
  2. Nominal Wage Adjustments and the Composition of Pay: New Evidence from Payroll Data By Daniel Schaefer; Carl Singleton
  3. Worker compensation schemes and product market competition By Stadler, Manfred
  4. Job Quality and the Nature of Job Mobility: What Are the Relationships between 2006 and 2010 in France based on a Survey? By Camille Signoretto
  5. Workplace Knowledge Flows By Jason Sandvik; Richard Saouma; Nathan Seegert; Christopher T. Stanton
  6. The digital leader: What one needs to master today's organisational challenges By Klus, Milan Frederik; Müller, Julia
  7. Optimal Contracts with Randomly Arriving Tasks By Daniel Bird; Alexander Frug

  1. By: Martín González Rozada; Eduardo Levy Yeyati
    Abstract: The gender gap usually denotes observable differences between men and women that are influenced by the social environment. In the workplace, it refers to systematic differences in job opportunities and salaries (controlling for the characteristics of the job and the employee). Statistics have shown that men often earn more for the same work than women, a difference that may reflect that men work more hours (an aspect compounded by the fact that they work highly-paid overtime) or tend to work relatively more in high-pay activities (horizontal gap), to prevail in top positions within a company (vertical gap), or to be offered lower pay for the same work. Most of these analyses are based on outcomes (actual wages being paid), as it is usually assumed that the gap is driven by a demand bias: for a number or reasons, a male society is willing to pay less for a woman than for a man doing the same task. But is it not possible that the gender gap is already embedded in the labor supply? To what extent the gender pay gap reflects an “ask gap”? More specifically: do women ask for less, for the same exact job? Many factors can determine gender-driven differences in labor supply. For starters, men and women may exhibit gender differences in preferences or self-assessments regarding specific occupational choices. Cortes & Pan (2017) based on features described in the BLS’s Occupational Information Network (or O*NET), document that the female-to-male-ratio (FMR) increases for occupations in a softer competitive environment, exhibiting a larger social contribution, or enjoying greater flexibility and a lower intensity in physical effort; and that more competitive and inflexible environments are associated with a larger gender gap. Kleinjans, Krassel & Dukes (2017) argue that women display a preference for jobs with “occupational prestige” and high social standing (at the expense of a lower wage). Finally, Correll (2001) reports that occupational choices are gender determined: males are perceived (by males and females) as better equipped for math (despite weak supporting empirical evidence in this regard), which in turn may determine performance self-assessment and, ultimately, occupational choices. In addition, it has been pointed out that women prefer to work in female-friendly environments. For example, Lordan and Pischke (2016) find a strong positive relationship between female satisfaction and the female-to-male-ratio, both in the occupation and in the firm, while males either like or are indifferent to the share of males in an occupation. Barbulescu and Bidwell (2013) find that women prefer jobs with better anticipated work-life balance and lower identification with stereotypically masculine jobs, which results in lower expectations of job offer success in male dominated jobs. Another aspect highlighted by the literature relates to women´s relative propensity to wage bargain. On this front, the evidence is mixed. Early studies find that women are less likely than men to initiate negotiations (Babcock & Laschever 2003; Babcock et al 2007), and experimental research has shown that women choose competitive pay-offs to a lesser extent than men (as Datta Gupta et al, 2006 suggests, because of higher risk aversion; see also Niederle & Vesterlund, 2005). However, Artz, Goodhall & Oswald (2016) finds no evidence that women are less prone to requesting wage raises than men, while Kaschner, Kugler, Reif & Brodbeck (2013), based on a meta-analysis of 24 studies that explore gender differences related to wage negotiations, conclude that women have a lower, albeit minor, propensity to negotiate, and Freund, Hüffmeier, Mazei & Stuhlmacher (2014), in another meta-analysis of 51 studies of negotiation outcomes, find that men tend to reach better economic outcomes than women but the difference narrows for women with negotiation experience, or when negotiation ranges are explicitly communicated (a result also reported by Leibbrandt & List (2012). Existing studies on the supply-side determinants of the gender gap based quantitative data on actual asked wages are relatively scarce and yield mixed results. Based on survey where recent social science graduates in Sweden are asked to report their respective bids “for the initial job they got in their field of major”, Save-Soderbergh (2007) finds that women “consistently submit lower wage bids than men do” (due to “lack of incentives to safe promote”). Alternatively, Galperin, Cruces and Greppi (2017), based on a field experiment where 2800 frelancers were asked to apply for a job using an online platform for short-term contracts in Spain (Nubelo), find that “women don´t ask for less”.
    Date: 2018–07
  2. By: Daniel Schaefer (Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre, Johannes-Kepler-Universität Linz); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading)
    Abstract: We use representative employer payroll data from Great Britain and the period 2006-2018 to document novel facts about nominal wage adjustments, focusing on workers who stay in the same firm and job from one year to the next. The richness of these data allows us to analyse separately basic pay and the other components of earnings, such as overtime and incentive pay, while controlling for hours worked. Weekly and hourly basic pay show signs of downward nominal rigidity, but non-basic pay components adjust more commonly. Unusually, these payroll-based data also report the pay rates of hourly-paid employees. A quarter of these workers, who stay in the same job between years, typically see no change in their rate of pay, and very few experience wage cuts. Finally, we exploit the employer-employee link in our data and find some evidence that wage setting is state-dependent rather than time-dependent.
    Keywords: downward nominal wage rigidity, payroll records, components of pay, hourly pay
    JEL: E24 J31 J33
    Date: 2020–01–28
  3. By: Stadler, Manfred
    Abstract: We analyze product market competition between firm owners where the risk-neutral workers decide on their efforts and, thereby, on the output levels. Various worker compensation schemes are compared: a piece-rate compensation scheme as a benchmark when workers' output performance is verifiable, and a contest-based as well as a tournament-based compensation scheme when it is only verifiable who the best performing worker is. According to optimal designs, all the considered compensation contracts lead to an equal market outcome. Therefore, it depends decisively on the relative costs of organizing a monitoring device, a contest, or a tournament whether the one or the other compensation scheme should be implemented.
    Keywords: worker compensation schemes,piece rates,contests,tournaments,product market competition
    JEL: C72 L22 M52
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Camille Signoretto (LEST - Laboratoire d'économie et de sociologie du travail - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, CEET - Centre d'études de l'emploi et du travail - CNAM - Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers [CNAM] - M.E.N.E.S.R. - Ministère de l'Education nationale, de l’Enseignement supérieur et de la Recherche - Ministère du Travail, de l'Emploi et de la Santé)
    Abstract: Based on the French survey Santé et Itinéraire professionnel (SIP), which follows the career paths of employees between 2006 and 2010, this article deals with the relationships between the quality of working and employment conditions and the nature of job mobility, i.e. voluntary, negotiated or enforced. On the one hand, French working conditions surveys show that work intensity remains high, repetitive work has increased and the autonomy of employees has decreased. On the other, the success of the rupture conventionnelle—termination of the permanent contract by mutual agreement, introduced in 2008—and the "plans for voluntary departures" in firms in economic difficulties, raises questions in a recently depressed economic context. One of the factors that can lead an employee to decide or accept to leave his/her job can be linked to the nature of the employment relationship and, primarily, to the quality of working conditions. To test this hypothesis, using multinomial logistic models, the article estimates correlations between several indicators of working conditions and employment characteristics, and five types of mobility (end of contract, dismissal, resignation, rupture conventionnelle, others). Results show a positive correlation between difficult working conditions and negotiated departures via the rupture conventionnelle, as well as enforced departures through dismissals and end of contract. In addition, low wages or part-time work are employment characteristics positively correlated with voluntary mobility. This suggests three conclusion : 1- the rupture conventionnelle would be an additional "exit" for employees dissatisfied with their working conditions; 2- bad employment conditions would encourage employees to resign; and finally, 3- some firms would develop human resource management practices that are not concerned with employee loyalty, combining precarious working conditions and job insecurity through the type of mobility and not only the employment contracts.
    Abstract: À partir de l'enquête Santé et itinéraire professionnel (SIP) retraçant la trajectoire de salariés français entre 2006 et 2010, cet article étudie les liens entre la qualité des conditions de travail et d'emploi, et la forme prise par la mobilité professionnelle : volontaire, subie ou négociée. Il s'inscrit dans un contexte où l'intensité du travail demeure à un niveau élevé en France. Les résultats montrent, notamment, une corrélation positive entre des conditions de travail difficiles et des départs négociés via la rupture conventionnelle, ainsi que subis via les licenciements et les fins de contrat. Trois conclusions peuvent en être tirées : 1-une voie de sortie à travers la rupture conventionnelle pour des salariés mécontents; 2-des conditions d'emplois peu favorables incitant les salariés à démissionner; et, enfin, 3-un segment du marché du travail avec des entreprises peu soucieuses de la fidélisation des salariés associant précarité du travail et précarité de l'emploi.
    Keywords: job quality,rupture conventionnelle,dismissal,Santé et Itinéraire Professionnel Survey,working conditions
    Date: 2019–12
  5. By: Jason Sandvik; Richard Saouma; Nathan Seegert; Christopher T. Stanton
    Abstract: What prevents the spread of information among coworkers, and which management practices facilitate workplace knowledge flows? We conducted a field experiment in a sales company, addressing these questions with three active treatments. (1) Encouraging workers to talk about their sales techniques with a randomly chosen partner during short meetings substantially lifted average sales revenue during and after the experiment. The largest gains occurred for those matched with high-performing coworkers. (2) Worker-pairs given incentives to increase joint output increased sales during the experiment but not afterward. (3) Worker-pairs given both treatments had little improvement above the meetings treatment alone. Managerial interventions providing structured opportunities for workers to initiate conversations with peers resulted in knowledge exchange; incentives based on joint output gains were neither necessary nor sufficient for knowledge transmission.
    JEL: J24 L23 M12 M5 M52 M53 M54
    Date: 2020–01
  6. By: Klus, Milan Frederik; Müller, Julia
    Abstract: Executives are increasingly facing various challenges associated with digitalisation, ranging from digitally mapping their existing business processes to fundamentally changing their business models. In this context, however, few studies have investigated which skills and traits executives need to successfully master digitalisation-related challenges. While some contributions suggest and systematise leadership skills, we go one step further and conduct a survey to investigate the connection between selected skills and executives' abilities to cope with specific challenges. Based on our results, executives that are well equipped to cope with these challenges tend to think and act entrepreneurially, have strong (self-)organisation and IT skills, a profound ability to motivate others, and a high degree of flexibility, commitment, and creativity. Surprisingly, being a strong team player does not seem to be necessarily advantageous. Moreover, many executives desire more calmness, which suggests that being able to decelerate is important in the digital age.
    JEL: M12 M15 M50 O33
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Daniel Bird; Alexander Frug
    Abstract: Workers rarely perform exactly the same tasks every day. Instead, their daily workload may change randomly over time to comply with the fluctuating needs of the organization where they are employed. In this paper, we show that this typical randomness in workplaces has a striking effect on the structure of long-term employment contracts. In particular, simple intertemporal variability in the worker's tasks is sufficient to generate a rich promotion-based dynamics in which, occasionally, the worker receives a (permanent) wage raise and his future work requirements are reduced.
    Keywords: dynamic contracting, random tasks, seniority, promotion
    JEL: D86 M51
    Date: 2020–01

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