nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2020‒07‒27
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Worker participation in decision-making, worker sorting, and firm performance By Müller, Steffen; Neuschäffer, Georg
  2. On-the-job training and intra-family dynamics By Aquilante, Tommaso; Livio, Luca; Potoms, Tom
  3. Peers and Motivation at Work: Evidence from a Firm Experiment in Malawi By Brune, Lasse; Chyn, Eric T.; Kerwin, Jason Theodore
  4. Physician performance pay: Experimental evidence By Brosig-Koch, Jeannette; Hennig-Schmidt, Heike; Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja; Kokot, Johanna; Wiesen, Daniel
  5. Project selection with partially verifiable information By Sumit Goel; Wade Hann-Caruthers
  6. Returns to formal, non-formal and informal training for workers at risk of automation By Zeyer-Gliozzo, Birgit
  7. CSI in the tropics Experimental evidence of improved public service delivery through coordination By Daniela Collazos; Leopoldo Fergusson; Miguel La Rota; Daniel Mejía; Daniel Ortega
  8. On the Causes and Consequences of Deviations from Rational Behavior By Dainis Zegners; Uwe Sunde; Anthony Strittmatter

  1. By: Müller, Steffen; Neuschäffer, Georg
    Abstract: Worker participation in decision-making is often associated with high-wage and high-productivity firm strategies. Using linked-employer-employee data for Germany and worker fixed effects from a two-way fixed effects model of wages capturing observed and unobserved worker quality, we find that establishments with formal worker participation via works councils indeed employ higher-quality workers. We show that worker quality is already higher in plants before council introduction and further increases after the introduction. Importantly, we corroborate previous studies by showing positive productivity and profitability effects even after taking into account worker sorting.
    Keywords: works councils,worker sorting,worker quality,between-firm wage inequality,productivity,profits
    JEL: J5 J24 J31
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Aquilante, Tommaso (Bank of England); Livio, Luca (ECARES-ULB); Potoms, Tom (University of Sussex)
    Abstract: This paper shows that marital status and gender crucially impact whether individuals receive certain types of on-the-job training. Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we show robust evidence that when training is self-financed, married workers have significantly lower participation rates, whereas women have higher rates. The correlation between demographic characteristics and the likelihood of receiving employer-sponsored training is instead much weaker. We rationalize the relationship between training incidence and marital status with a simple two-period collective model of the household with limited commitment, where contemporaneous training decisions affect future bargaining power within the household. The core prediction of the model is confirmed empirically: the likelihood to participate in self-financed on-the-job training is negatively affected by higher levels of (a proxy for) intra-household bargaining power of the spouse of the individual. The results suggest there is scope for policy to increase workers’ training participation rates by targeting individuals with weaker bargaining power within the household.
    Keywords: Self-financed on-the-job training; intra-household bargaining; human capital formation; Nash bargaining
    JEL: J12 J16 J24
    Date: 2020–06–12
  3. By: Brune, Lasse; Chyn, Eric T.; Kerwin, Jason Theodore
    Abstract: This paper studies workplace peer effects by randomly varying work assignments at a tea estate in Malawi. We find that increasing mean peer ability by 10 percent raises productivity by 0.3 percent. This effect is driven by the responses of women. Neither production nor compensation externalities cause the effect because workers receive piece rates and do not work in teams. Additional analyses provide no support for learning or socialization as mechanisms. Instead, peer effects appear to operate through “motivation”: given the choice to be reassigned, most workers prefer working near high-ability co-workers because these peers motivate them to work harder.
    Date: 2020–06–10
  4. By: Brosig-Koch, Jeannette (University of Duisburg-Essen and Health Economics Research Center); Hennig-Schmidt, Heike (University of Bonn, Department of Economics); Kairies-Schwarz, Nadja (University of Duisburg-Essen and CINCH Essen); Kokot, Johanna (University of Hamburg and Hamburg Center for Health Economics); Wiesen, Daniel (University of Cologne, Department of Health Care Management)
    Abstract: We analyze the causal effect of performance pay on physicians’ medical service provision and the quality of care. To address this effect, which is difficult to study in the field we conducted an online experiment with primary care physicians randomly drawn from a representative resident physician sample in Germany. Linking individual physicians’ behavioral data with administrative data enables us to identify how practice charac teristics account for the heterogeneity in individual physicians’ responses to performance incentives, which field data do not allow in general. We find that performance pay reduces underprovision of medical care compared to lump-sum capitation. The effect increases with patients’ severities of ill ness. Already small incentives are effective in enhancing the quality of care. Our results further indicate that physicians in high-profit practices and practicing in cities are most responsive to incentives.
    Keywords: pay for performance; behavioral experiment; practice charac teristics
    JEL: C93 I11
    Date: 2020–07–09
  5. By: Sumit Goel; Wade Hann-Caruthers
    Abstract: We consider a problem where the principal chooses a project from a set of available projects for the agent to work on. Each project provides some profit to the principal and some payoff to the agent and these profits and payoffs are the agent's private information. The principal has a belief over these values and his problem is to find an incentive compatible mechanism without using transfers that maximizes expected profit. Importantly, we assume partial verifiability so that the agent cannot report a project to be more profitable to the principal than it actually is. In this setup, we find a neat characterization of the set of incentive compatible mechanisms. Using this characterization, we find the optimal mechanism for the principal when there are two projects. Within a subclass of incentive compatible mechanisms, we show that a single cutoff mechanism is optimal and conjecture that it is the optimal incentive compatible mechanism.
    Date: 2020–07
  6. By: Zeyer-Gliozzo, Birgit
    Abstract: The automation of work tasks due to technological change increases the pressure on employees whose workplaces consist largely of such activities. Further training is an important way of adapting skills and enabling the performance of tasks that cannot be automated and are required in modern labour markets. Therefore, it should help to reduce the number of substitutable tasks performed and the risk of automation. These returns to training are highly relevant, but as yet little studied. Using data from the German National Educational Panel Study (NEPS), this paper examines the effect of formal, non-formal and informal training on work tasks and the automation probability for workers at risk of automation. The results show that nonformal and informal training in the form of media use actually helps to reduce the intensity of routine tasks. The effects of training on analytic, interactive and manual tasks as well as the probability of automation differ depending on the type of training, but are in many cases not significant. Furthermore, the results indicate that the impact of training on tasks partly varies with the degree of computerisation, a change of job and the level of education.
    Keywords: further training,returns to education,automation,job tasks
    JEL: I26 J24 M53 O33
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Daniela Collazos; Leopoldo Fergusson; Miguel La Rota; Daniel Mejía; Daniel Ortega
    Abstract: This paper evaluates the impacts of increased coordination, accountability, and leadership among teams of responsible public officials, with evidence from homicide investigations in Colombia. We randomly assigned the investigations of 66% of the 1,683 homicides occurring in Bogotá, Colombia, during 2016 to a new investigation procedure emphasizing these features. We find a statistically signi ficant 30% increase in the conviction rate in the treatment group relative to the control group. Indicators of the quality of the investigative process also improve, as well as the rate at which a formal accusation is presented before a court. Complementary findings suggest that the treatment produces well-coordinated teams that can communicate more uently. Also, a survey of investigative team members reveal that work motivation, the extent to which they receive feedback on their performance, the pertinence and effectiveness of their roles, and the perceived quality and coordination of the team all improve under the new scheme.
    Keywords: Crime, Homicides, Team work, Public sector.
    JEL: C93 D73 J45 K14 K42
    Date: 2020–06–16
  8. By: Dainis Zegners; Uwe Sunde; Anthony Strittmatter
    Abstract: This paper presents novel evidence for the prevalence of deviations from rational behavior in human decision making – and for the corresponding causes and consequences. The analysis is based on move-by-move data from chess tournaments and an identification strategy that compares behavior of professional chess players to a rational behavioral benchmark that is constructed using modern chess engines. The evidence documents the existence of several distinct dimensions in which human players deviate from a rational benchmark. In particular, the results show deviations related to loss aversion, time pressure, fatigue, and cognitive limitations. The results also demonstrate that deviations do not necessarily lead to worse performance. Consistent with an important influence of intuition and experience, faster decisions are associated with more frequent deviations from the rational benchmark, yet they are also associated with better performance.
    Keywords: rational strategies, artificial intelligence, behavioural bias
    JEL: D01 D90 C70 C80
    Date: 2020

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