nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2020‒11‒23
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Motivation and Incentives in an Online Labor Market By Fest, Sebastian; Kvaloy, Ola; Nieken, Petra; Schöttner, Anja
  2. How Does Working-Time Flexibility Affect Workers' Productivity in a Routine Job? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Boltz, Marie; Cockx, Bart; Diaz, Ana Maria; Salas, Luz
  3. Other-Regarding Preferences and Incentives in the Societal Context By Kragl, Jenny; Bental, Benjamin
  4. The Complementary Effect of Organizational Practices and Workers’ Level of Education By Filippo Pusterla
  5. Do male managers increase risk-taking of female teams? Evidence from the NCAA By Böheim, René; Freudenthaler, Christoph; Lackner, Mario
  6. Overconfidence and gender differences in wage expectations By Briel, Stephanie; Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor; Reutter, Mirjam; Satlukal, Sascha
  7. Performance, working capital management, and the liability of smallness: A question of opportunity costs? By Vivien Lefebvre
  8. Social Networks, Promotions, and the Glass-Ceiling Effect By Zaharieva, Anna; Neugart, Michael
  9. Motivating Low-Achievers – Relative Performance Feedback in Primary Schools By Hermes, Henning; Huschens, Martin; Rothlauf, Franz; Schunk, Daniel

  1. By: Fest, Sebastian; Kvaloy, Ola; Nieken, Petra; Schöttner, Anja
    Abstract: An increasing number of workers participate in online labor markets. In contrast to traditional employment relationships within firms, the interaction between online workers and their employers are short and impersonal, which makes motivating online workers more challenging. We present results from two large-scale real-effort experiments on Amazon Mechanical Turk investigating the effects of monetary and non-monetary motivational instruments. In the first experiment, we study the effects of performance pay and simple upfront messages (praise or reference points) on performance. The second experiment concentrates on the effects of communication techniques used by charismatic leaders. Performance pay increases output significantly. Sending simple messages, however, can have a significantly negative effect on output. The results from the second experiment show that charismatic communication techniques can also backfire when only a subset of them is used, whereas using a broad set including quantitative goals increases output significantly. Neither intervention had any effect on the quality of work.
    Keywords: Online Labor Market,Performance Pay,Motivation,Charismatic Leadership
    JEL: C93 M52 J33
    Date: 2020
  2. By: Boltz, Marie (Université de Strasbourg); Cockx, Bart (Ghent University); Diaz, Ana Maria (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana); Salas, Luz (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana)
    Abstract: We conducted an experiment in which we hired workers under different types of contracts to evaluate how flexible working time affects on-the-job productivity in a routine job. Our approach breaks down the global impact on productivity into sorting and behavioral effects. We find that all forms of working-time flexibility reduce the length of workers' breaks. For part-time work, these positive effects are globally counterbalanced. Yet arrangements that allow workers to decide when to start and stop working increase global productivity by as much as 50 percent, 40 percent of which is induced by sorting.
    Keywords: flexible work arrangements, part-time work, productivity, labor market flexibility, work–life balance
    JEL: J21 J22 J23 J24 J33
    Date: 2020–10
  3. By: Kragl, Jenny; Bental, Benjamin
    Abstract: The article is concerned with understanding the impact of social preferences and wealth inequality on aggregate economic outcomes. We investigate how different manifestations of other-regarding preferences affect incentive contracts at the microeconomic level and how these in turn translate into macroeconomic outcomes. Increasing the workers' sensitivity to inequality raises effort and reduces wage costs for poor but not necessarily for rich workers. A parameterized version of the model roughly mimicking relevant key features of the industrialized world shows that, at the general equilibrium, increased initial wealth differences raise aggregate profit and output but entail distributional utility losses and increased inequality.
    Keywords: other-regarding preferences,incentives,general equilibrium,inequality,wealth,income,inequality aversion,competitiveness
    JEL: D31 D50 D63 D82 M52 M54
    Date: 2020
  4. By: Filippo Pusterla (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: This paper investigates how rms' productivity is a ected by the relationship between organiza- tional practices and workers' level of education. Using rm-level panel data covering the period 2002 to 2008, I estimate complementarities among workers' level of education and a large set of organizational practices aggregated into three domains: decentralization, incentive pay, and work design where work design comprises job rotation and teamwork. I consider workers with four lev- els of education: no post-compulsory education, upper-secondary vocational education and train- ing, tertiary vocational education, and tertiary academic education. The results indicate that the complementarity between education and the extent of rms' decentralization is higher for tertiary- educated workers. In contrast, the estimations reveal no complementarity between incentive pay and higher levels of workers' education. Furthermore, complementarity exists between work design and tertiary-educated workers, especially workers with a tertiary vocational education. Finally, the estimations using an aggregate measure of organization suggest complementarities across organiza- tional practices.
    Keywords: complementarity, education, organization, productivity
    JEL: J24 L23
    Date: 2020–05
  5. By: Böheim, René; Freudenthaler, Christoph; Lackner, Mario
    Abstract: We analyze the effect of the coach's gender on risk-taking in women's National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) basketball teams. We find that the coach's gender has a sizable and significant effect on the team's risk-taking, a finding that is robust to several empirical strategies, including an instrumental variable approach. We find that women's teams with a male head coach are 5 percentage points more likely to take risk than women's teams with a female head coach. This gap is persistent over the duration of games and does not change with intermediate game performance. Since risk-taking has a positive effect on winning a game, female head coaches could improve their team's success by adopting more risk-taking.
    Keywords: Corporate risk-taking,gender difference,success
    JEL: J16 J44
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Briel, Stephanie; Osikominu, Aderonke; Pfeifer, Gregor; Reutter, Mirjam; Satlukal, Sascha
    Abstract: We analyze the impact of (over-)confidence on gender differences in expected starting salaries using elicited beliefs of prospective university students in Germany. According to our results, female students have lower wage expectations and are less overconfident than their male counterparts. Oaxaca-Blinder decompositions of the mean show that 7.7% of the gender gap in wage expectations is attributable to a higher overconfidence of males. Decompositions of the unconditional quantiles of expected salaries suggest that the contribution of gender differences in confidence to the gender gap is particularly strong at the bottom and top of the wage expectation distribution.
    Keywords: Gender Pay Gap,Wage Expectations,Overconfidence,Decomposition Analyses,Unconditional Quantile Regressions (RIF-Regressions)
    JEL: J16 D84 D91 C21
    Date: 2020
  7. By: Vivien Lefebvre (LARGE - Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie - UNISTRA - Université de Strasbourg)
    Abstract: This article studies the relationship between working capital management and firm operating performance and focuses on the moderating effect of size. We use a large sample of 56,221 small, medium, and large firms from France, Germany, and Italy, and our results indicate that the impact of working capital management on performance strongly depends on size. We identify a higher sensitivity of performance to underinvestment in net operating working capital for small firms, but no higher sensitivity to overinvestment. These findings suggest that small firms experience high opportunity costs from lost sales when their net operating working capital is low. Financial constraints and lack of financial management are discussed as potential explanations because both are expressions of the liability of smallness.
    Date: 2020–03–24
  8. By: Zaharieva, Anna; Neugart, Michael
    Abstract: Empirical studies show that women are under-represented in highly paid top management positions of firms (glass-ceiling effect) which could be a cause of the gender wage gap. In order to study women's career paths, we develop a search and matching model where job ladders consist of three hierarchical levels and workers can progress in the career by means of internal promotions and job-to-job mobility. Both, formal applications and referral hiring via endogenous social networks, can be used for external moves between firms. We show that when female workers are the minority in the occupation and social link formation is gender-biased (homophily) there are too few female contacts in the social networks of their male colleagues. This disadvantage implies that female workers are referred less often and, thereby, become under-represented in top level management positions of firms. Our results suggest that endogenously forming homophilous social networks when female workers are the minority can explain a substantial part of the empirically observable total wage gap stemming from the glass-ceiling effect. In addition, we demonstrate that the effects on an unequal gender-representation are amplified by stronger clustering of social networks, and gender-biased promotion times. Furthermore, deeper hierarchical firm structures amplify the network-driven gender inequality but mitigate inequality arising from direct discrimination in internal promotions.
    Keywords: glass-ceiling effect,networks,discrimination,theory of the firm,promotions,search-and-matching labor market
    JEL: D21 D85 J31 J63 J71
    Date: 2020
  9. By: Hermes, Henning; Huschens, Martin; Rothlauf, Franz; Schunk, Daniel
    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 400 children, we conduct a class-wise randomized-controlled trial using an e-learning software 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 new type of RPF could potentially reduce inequalities, especially in educational settings.
    Keywords: relative performance feedback,rankings,randomized-controlled trial,education,gender differences
    JEL: I20 I24 C93
    Date: 2020

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