nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2020‒03‒30
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Knowledge acquisition or incentive to foster coordination ? A real-effort weak-link experiment with craftsmen. By Mathieu Lefebvre; Lucie Martin-Bonnel de Longchamp
  2. CEO Health and Corporate Governance By Keloharju, Matti; Knüpfer, Samuli; Tåg, Joacim
  3. DO WOMEN SHY AWAY FROM PUBLIC SPEAKING? A FIELD EXPERIMENT By Maria De Paola; Rosetta Lombarso; Valeria Pupo; Vincenzo Scoppa
  4. Extreme wages, performance and superstars in a market for footballers By Rachel Scarfe; Carl Singleton; Paul Telemo
  5. Employee Training and Firm Performance: Quasi-experimental evidence from the European Social Fund By Martins, Pedro S.
  6. Career Consequences of Firm Heterogeneity for Young Workers: First Job and Firm Size By Arellano-Bover, Jaime
  7. The impact of job referrals on employment outcomes in top corporate positions By Levati, Lorenzo Maria; Lalanne, Marie
  8. Are Workers Rewarded for Inconsistent Performance? By Anil Özdemir; Helmut Dietl; Giambattista Rossi; Robert Simmons

  1. By: Mathieu Lefebvre; Lucie Martin-Bonnel de Longchamp
    Abstract: This paper presents a lab-in-the-field experiment with craftsmen working on renovation projects to assess the effect of training programs and incentive scheme on coordination and cooperation. Workers frequently fail to cooperate and coordinate their tasks when not supervised by a project coordinator. This is particularly important in the construction sector where it leads to a lack of final performance in buildings. We introduce two different incentives: a first contract paying craftsmen only according to their individual performance, and a second contract paying a group of three craftsmen with a weak-link payment according to the group’s worst performance. In addition, we test these incentives on two different subject groups: one is composed of craftsmen trained to coordinate their tasks, and the others are not. The results suggest that trained subjects coordinate at significantly higher effort levels than non-trained subjects when facing an individual-based incentive. However, when facing a group-based incentive, non-trained subjects seem to "catch up" trained subjects in terms of coordination level, while these latter subjects do not significantly increase their performance level.
    Keywords: Coordination, Real-effort weak-link experiment, Semi-Field Experiment, Individual Incentive, Group Incentive.
    JEL: C01 C91 C92 C93
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Keloharju, Matti (Aalto University School of Business); Knüpfer, Samuli (BI Norwegian Business School); Tåg, Joacim (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))
    Abstract: Boards hire and fire CEOs based on imperfect information. Using comprehensive data on 28 cohorts in Sweden, we analyze the role of a potentially important unobserved attribute—CEO health—in corporate governance. We find CEOs are significantly healthier than the population and other highskill professionals, in particular in mental health. Health at appointment predicts turnover, suggesting boards respond to health problems and correct mismatches that occurred at the time of appointment. Health-related corporate governance appears to work imperfectly, however, as we find CEO health also associates with firm policies requiring an active CEO role.
    Keywords: CEOs; Corporate Governance; Executives; Mental Health; Physical Health
    JEL: G34 I12 J24 J31
    Date: 2020–03–25
  3. By: Maria De Paola (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Rosetta Lombarso (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Valeria Pupo (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria); Vincenzo Scoppa (Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF, Università della Calabria)
    Abstract: Public speaking is an important skill for career prospects and for leadership positions, but many people tend to avoid it because it generates anxiety. We run a field experiment to analyze whether in an incentivized setting men and women show differences in their willingness to speak in public. The experiment involved more than 500 undergraduate students who could gain two points to add to the final grade of their exam by orally presenting solutions to a problem set. Students were randomly assigned to present only to the instructor or in front of a large audience (a class of 100 or more). We find that while women are more willing to present faceto-face, they are considerably less likely to give a public presentation. Female aversion to public speaking does not depend on differences in ability, risk aversion, self-confidence and self-esteem. The aversion to public speaking greatly reduces for daughters of working women. From data obtained through an on-line Survey we also show that neither increasing the gains deriving from public speaking nor allowing participants more time to prepare enable to close the gender gap.
    Keywords: Public Speaking, Psychological Gender differences, Gender, Leadership, Glass Ceiling, Field Experiment
    Date: 2020–02
  4. By: Rachel Scarfe (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh); Carl Singleton (Department of Economics, University of Reading); Paul Telemo (School of Economics, University of Edinburgh)
    Abstract: Using longitudinal wage and performance data for workers (players) and firms (teams), we study the sources of superstar wage effects in a particular market for sports talent: Major League Soccer in the United States. The top earners, whose annual salaries are mostly not accounted for by their past MLS performances, when compared alongside other footballers, are paid more because they attract significantly higher stadium attendances. There is no evidence that high residual salary spending by teams affects their relative performance in football terms, or that the amount teams spend on actual talent affects attendances. Taken together, these results suggest that a popularity-based explanation of superstar wage effects is appropriate among the top earners in this labour market.
    Keywords: Superstar effects, Top incomes, Major League Soccer
    JEL: D31 J24 J31 L83 Z22
    Date: 2020–03–20
  5. By: Martins, Pedro S.
    Abstract: As work changes, firm-provided training may become more relevant for good economic and social outcomes. However, so far there is little or no causal evidence about the effects of training on firms. This paper studies a large training grants programme in Portugal, contrasting successful firms that received the grants and unsuccessful firms that did not. Combining several rich data sets, we compare a large number of potential outcomes of these firms, while following them over long periods of time before and after the grant decision. Our difference-in-differences models estimate significant positive effects on take up (training hours and expenditure), with limited deadweight; and that such additional training led to increased sales, value added, employment, productivity, and exports. These effects tend to be of at least 5% and, in some cases, 10% or more.
    Keywords: Training subsidies,Productivity,Counterfactual evaluation
    JEL: J24 H43 M53
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Arellano-Bover, Jaime (Yale University)
    Abstract: I study the long-term effects of landing a first job at a large firm versus a small one using Spanish social security data. Size could be a relevant employer attribute for inexperienced workers since large firms are associated with greater training, higher wages, and enhanced productivity. The key empirical challenge is selection into first jobs – for instance, more able people may land jobs at large firms. I address this challenge developing an instrumental-variables approach that, while keeping business-cycle conditions fixed, leverages variation in the composition of labor demand that labor-market entrants face. I find that initially matching with a larger firm substantially improves long-term outcomes such as lifetime income, and that these benefits persist through subsequent jobs. Additional results point to mechanisms related to search frictions and better skill-development at large firms. Together, these findings shed light on how heterogeneous firms persistently impact young workers' trajectories.
    Keywords: first job, employer size, firm heterogeneity, young workers, lifetime income, on-the-job skills
    JEL: E24 J23 J24 J31 J62
    Date: 2020–02
  7. By: Levati, Lorenzo Maria; Lalanne, Marie
    Abstract: Using an original dataset on professional networks of directors sitting on the boards of large US corporations, we examine how personal relationships are used by firms to improve job match quality in the high-skill segment of the labor market. Analyzing explicit social connection data between new hires and recruiters, we are able to test predictions of well established job referral models. We find that referred executive directors have a fifteen percent longer tenure than their non-referred counterparts. Referred executive directors also tend to be similar to their referrers on multiple dimensions, giving support to network homophily hypotheses.
    Keywords: Referrals,Job Match Quality,Social Networks,Board of Directors
    JEL: L14 J63 M51
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Anil Özdemir (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Helmut Dietl (Department of Business Administration, University of Zurich); Giambattista Rossi (Department of Management Birkbeck, University of London); Robert Simmons (Lancaster University, Management School, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether workers are rewarded for inconsistent performances by salary premia. Some earlier research suggests that performance inconsistency leads to salary premia while other research finds premia for consistent performances. Using detailed salary and performance data, we find that inconsistency is rewarded for some dimensions of performance, specifically those where creativity is important and outcomes have higher variance. We find salary penalties for inconsistent performances in those dimensions that are basic requirements of successful team production.
    Keywords: physical salaries, performance, consistency
    JEL: J31 M52 Z20
    Date: 2020–03

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