nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2020‒04‒27
five papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Teacher Preferences, Working Conditions, and Compensation Structure By Johnston, Andrew C.
  2. Smart-working: Work Flexibility Without Constraints By Marta Angelici; Paola Profeta
  3. Macroeconomic Conditions When Young Shape Job Preferences for Life By Cotofan, Maria; Cassar, Lea; Dur, Robert; Meier, Stephan
  4. Mandated Sick Pay: Coverage, Utilization, and Welfare Effects By Maclean, J. Catherine; Pichler, Stefan; Ziebarth, Nicolas R.
  5. The Micro and Macro of Managerial Beliefs By Barrero, Jose Maria

  1. By: Johnston, Andrew C. (University of California, Merced)
    Abstract: Improving schools depends on attracting high-caliber teachers and increasing retention, both made possible by appealing to teacher preferences. I deploy a discrete-choice experiment in a setting where teachers have reason to reveal their preferences. There are three main findings: (1) I calculate willingness-to-pay for a series of workplace attributes including salary structure, retirement benefits, performance pay, class size, and time-to-tenure. (2) Highly rated teachers have stronger preferences for schools offering performance pay, which may be used to differentially attract and retain them. (3) Under various criteria, schools seem to underpay in salary and performance pay while overpaying in retirement benefits.
    Keywords: teachers, labor market, achievement, retention, selection
    JEL: I20 J32 J45 M50
    Date: 2020–04
  2. By: Marta Angelici; Paola Profeta
    Abstract: Does removing the constraints of time and place of work increase the utility of workers and firms? We design a randomized experiment on a sample of workers in a large Italian company: workers are randomly divided into a treated group that engages in flexible space and time job (which we call “smart-working†) one day per week for 9 months and a control group that continues to work traditionally. By comparing the treated and control workers, we find causal evidence that the flexibility of smart-working increases the productivity of workers and improves their well-being and work-life balance. We also observe that the effects are stronger for women and that there are no significant spillover effects within workers of a team.
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Cotofan, Maria (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Cassar, Lea (University of Cologne); Dur, Robert (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Meier, Stephan (Columbia University)
    Abstract: Preferences for monetary and non-monetary job attributes are important for understanding workers' motivation and the organization of work. Little is known, however, about how those job preferences are formed. We study how macroeconomic conditions when young shape workers' job preferences for the rest of their life. Using variation in income-per-capita across US regions and over time since the 1920s, we find that job preferences vary in systematic ways with macroeconomic conditions. Recessions create cohorts of workers who give higher priority to income, whereas booms make cohorts care more about job meaning, for the rest of their life.
    Keywords: preferences for job attributes, experience, macroeconomic condition, generational dierence
    JEL: D9 J2 M5
    Date: 2020–04
  4. By: Maclean, J. Catherine (Temple University); Pichler, Stefan (ETH Zurich); Ziebarth, Nicolas R. (Cornell University)
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the labor market effects of sick pay mandates in the United States. Using the National Compensation Survey and difference-in-differences models, we estimate their impact on coverage rates, sick leave use, labor costs, and non-mandated fringe benefits. Sick pay mandates increase coverage significantly by 13 percentage points from a baseline level of 66%. Newly covered employees take two additional sick days per year. We find little evidence that mandating sick pay crowds-out other non-mandated fringe benefits. We then develop a model of optimal sick pay provision along with a welfare analysis. For a range of plausible parameter values, mandating sick pay increases welfare.
    Keywords: sick pay mandates, sick leave, medical leave, employer mandates, fringe benefits, moral hazard, unintended consequences, labor costs, National Compensation Survey (NCS), welfare effects, optimal social insurance, Baily-Chetty
    JEL: I12 I13 I18 J22 J28 J32
    Date: 2020–04
  5. By: Barrero, Jose Maria (Instituto Tecnologico Autonomo de Mexico)
    Abstract: This paper studies how biases in managerial beliefs affect managerial decisions, firm performance, and the macroeconomy. Using a new survey of US managers I establish three facts. (1) Managers are not over-optimistic: sales growth forecasts on average do not exceed realizations. (2) Managers are overprecise (overconfident): they underestimate future sales growth volatility. (3) Managers overextrapolate: their forecasts are too optimistic after positive shocks and too pessimistic after negative shocks. To quantify the implications of these facts, I estimate a dynamic general equilibrium model in which managers of heterogeneous firms use a subjective beliefs process to make forward-looking hiring decisions. Overprecision and overextrapolation lead managers to overreact to firm-level shocks and overspend on adjustment costs, destroying 2.1 percent of the typical firm’s value. Pervasive overreaction leads to excess volatility and reallocation, lowering consumer welfare by 0.5 to 2.3 percent relative to the rational expectations equilibrium. These findings suggest overreaction may amplify asset-price and business cycle fluctuations.
    Date: 2020–04–09

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