nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2020‒11‒30
eleven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Middle Managers, Personnel Turnover and Performance: A Long-Term Field Experiment in a Retail Chain By Guido Friebel; Matthias Heinz; Nikolay Zubanov
  2. Exploring The Impact of Job Satisfaction Domains on Firm Performance: Evidence from Great Britain By Eberegbe, Georgina; Giovanis, Eleftherios
  3. How Does Working-Time Flexibility Affect Workers' Productivity in a Routine Job? Evidence from a Field Experiment By Marie Boltz; Bart Cockx; Ana Maria Diaz; Luz Magdalena Salas
  4. Talent, Career Choice and Competition: The Gender Wage Gap at the Top By Fredrik Heyman; Pehr-Johan Norbäck; Lars Persson
  5. The glass ceiling revisited: empirical evidence from the German academic career ladder By Heinrichs, Katrin; Sonnabend, Hendrik
  6. The gender pay gap in the UK: children and experience in work By Monica Costa Dias; Robert Joyce; Francesca Parodi
  7. Guess who's there: employment protection legislation and the degree of substitutability between labour contracts By Daniela Sonedda
  8. Beyond Labor Market Polarization By Santiago Garcia-Couto
  9. Volunteering at the Workplace under Incomplete Information: Team Size Does Not Matter By Werner, Tobias; Hillenbrand, Adrian; Winter, Fabian
  10. Towards a life after retail? The relationship between human capital and career outcomes in retail. By Nilsson, Helena; Backman, Mikaela; Öner, Özge
  11. Understanding the Determination of Severance Pay: Mandates, Bargaining, and Unions By Stéphane Auray; Samuel Danthine; Markus Poschke

  1. By: Guido Friebel (Department of Management and Microeconomics, Goethe-University Frankfurt, 60323 Frankfurt/Main, Germany); Matthias Heinz (Department of Management, University of Cologne, 50923 Cologne, Germany); Nikolay Zubanov (Department of Economics, University of Konstanz, 78464 Konstanz, Germany)
    Abstract: In an RCT, a large retail chain’s CEO sets new goals for the managers of the treated stores by asking them “to do what they can” to reduce the employee quit rate. The treatment decreases the quit rate by a fifth to a quarter, lasting nine months before petering out, but reappearing after a reminder. There is no treatment effect on sales. Further analysis reveals that treated store managers spend more time on HR and less on customer service. Our findings show that middle managers are instrumental in reducing personnel turnover, but they face a tradeoff between investing in different activities in a multitasking environment with limited resources. The treatment does produce efficiency gains. However, these occur only at the firm level.
    Keywords: organizations, randomized controlled trial (RCT), insider econometrics, goal-setting, communication, HR, personnel turnover and firm performance
    JEL: L2 M1 M12 M5
    Date: 2020–11
  2. By: Eberegbe, Georgina; Giovanis, Eleftherios
    Abstract: Firm productivity and performance and their determinants are a well addressed topic in the field of management and industrial organization. However, how different job satisfaction domains affect the firm performance remains relatively rare. The aim of this study is to explore the impact of seven job satisfaction domains on firm performance. The analysis relies on firm-level data derived from the Workforce Employment Relations Survey (WERS) in 2004 and 2011 in Great Britain. To reduce the endogeneity issue coming from possible reverse causality between the job satisfaction and firm performance we apply the Two Stage Least Squares (2SLS) method. The findings show that satisfaction with job security and the work itself have the strongest positive impact followed by training, income and sense of achievement. The findings provide valuable insights to firms and managers about the identification of the most important job satisfaction domains affecting firm performance, varying by the industry, firm type and workplace management. This is especially the case in the post-crisis period of 2007, where working conditions have experienced major changes, and will experience further changes and new challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
    Keywords: Employment relationships; Instrumental Variables; Job Satisfaction; Job Security; Organizational Performance; Workforce Employment Relations Survey
    JEL: D23 J24 J28 L25 M54 O15
    Date: 2020–06
  3. By: Marie Boltz; Bart Cockx; Ana Maria Diaz; Luz Magdalena Salas
    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
  4. By: Fredrik Heyman; Pehr-Johan Norbäck; Lars Persson
    Abstract: We propose a management career model where females face a gender-specific career hurdle. We show that female managers will, on average, be more skilled than male managers, since females from the low end of the talent distribution will abstain from investing in a career as a manager. The average female manager will then be better at mitigating more intense product market competition. When the intensity of product market competition increases, hirings and wages for female managers will therefore increase relative to those of male managers. Using Swedish matched employer-employee data, we find strong empirical evidence for all these predictions.
    Keywords: career, gender wage-gap, job inflexibility, management, competition
    JEL: J70 L20 M50
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Heinrichs, Katrin; Sonnabend, Hendrik
    Abstract: Women are underrepresented in leadership positions - academia is no exception. Using data on careers of doctoral graduates in Germany, we study gender differences in the decision to stay at university as a postdoctoral researcher and in the intention to become a professor. We find that gender gaps related to aiming for a professorship can be fully explained by observable characteristics other than gender. On the contrary, even after adding controls for an array of characteristics relevant to academic careers, we find female graduates to be 5.9 percentage points less likely to hold a postdoctoral position which allows them to qualify for professorship.
    Keywords: female labour supply,gender gap,higher education,glass ceiling
    JEL: I26 J16 J24
    Date: 2020
  6. By: Monica Costa Dias; Robert Joyce; Francesca Parodi
    Abstract: Despite some convergence, the gender pay gap remains large. In this study, we use BHPS-USoc data to document the evolution of the gender pay gap in the UK over the past 25 years and its association with fertility. We also investigate the potential role of various differences in career patterns between men and women and how they change with the arrival of the first child. We show that differences in accumulated years of experience and in working hours play an important role. We develop an empirical wage model to estimate the causal effect of working experience in the wages of women. Estimates from this model are then used to simulate counterfactual scenarios where women always work full-time if at all and where women work as much as men do. We find that differences in working experience can explain up to two thirds of the existing gender pay gap of college graduates 20 years after the first childbirth, and that the gap is largely driven by differences in working hours. The role of working experience is more moderate for individuals with no college education, but it can still account for about one third of the overall gender wage gap 20 years after childbirth.
    Keywords: Labour Supply, Wages, Gender Pay Gap, Human Capital
    JEL: D10 J16 J18 J24
    Date: 2019
  7. By: Daniela Sonedda (University of Piemonte Orientale)
    Abstract: Employment protection legislation may affect the degree of substitutability among different types of labour contracts by changing the individuals sorting into jobs and firms screening in and out jobs. Using administrative data, we document this substitutability in the context of a labour market reform that changed the informative content of individual dismissals and provided incentives to training contracts in Italy in 2012. We present and simulate a model that shows that individual's and firm's behaviour have important implications for the impact of policies that lower firing costs. A more flexible employment protection legislation regime combined with incentives to training contracts reduces inefficiencies of job sorting and screening due to asymmetric information.
    Keywords: Human Capital, Employment Protection Legislation, Asymmetric-information
    JEL: J24 J63 J68
    Date: 2020–07
  8. By: Santiago Garcia-Couto
    Abstract: It is well documented that routine-biased technical change ("RBTC") led to labor market polarization during 1980-2000. In particular, the employment and wages of non-routine occupations, which include low-wage manual and high-wage cognitive ones, increased relative to routine occupations. I document that during 2000-2016, wage polarization stopped in that the wages of non-routine manual occupations fell in relative and absolute terms. I study the end of wage polarization through the lens of a dynamic general equilibrium model with RBTC, human capital accumulation, and occupational mobility. I find that during 2000-2016, RBTC continued to take place, but human capital accumulation and occupational mobility changed. In particular, compared to workers in routine occupations, workers in non-routine manual occupations had lower initial human capital and accumulated less human capital whereas workers in cognitive occupations had more initial human capital and accumulated more human capital than before. During 1980-2000 the changes in the human capital accumulation of the occupations were similar to those during 2000-2016, but during the second period mobility across occupations fell, which magnified the differences in human capital accumulation and led to the end of wage polarization.
    JEL: E24 J24 J31 J62
    Date: 2020–11–15
  9. By: Werner, Tobias; Hillenbrand, Adrian; Winter, Fabian
    Abstract: Volunteering is a widespread allocation mechanism at the workplace and emerges naturally in open-source software development, the generation of online knowledge platforms, and to some extent in "agile" work environments. Using a field experiment with 8 treatments and close to 2,800 workers on an online labor market, we study the effect of team size on volunteering at the workplace under incomplete information. In stark contrast to the theoretical predictions, we find no effect of team size on volunteering behavior. With the use of our control treatments, we can show that workers react to free-riding incentives provided by the volunteering setting in general, but do not react strategically to the team size. We show that the result is robust to several further factors.
    JEL: C93 C72
    Date: 2020
  10. By: Nilsson, Helena (Center of Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden.); Backman, Mikaela (Center of Entrepreneurship and Spatial Economics (CEnSE), Jönköping International Business School, Jönköping, Sweden.); Öner, Özge (Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K.)
    Abstract: The retail sector accounts for a large share of employment in many economies, and many young individuals regard the retail sector as a steppingstone in the labor market. As the retail sector comprises various types of employment and diverse tasks, those employed in the retail sector are able to transition across different roles. Retail firms, however, often experience high labor turnover, which is costly to firms. This paper addresses how the human capital of full-time retail employees relates to labor turnover. We study individuals working in the retail sector between 1990 and 2018 and analyze how their human capital is associated with their likelihood of remaining in the same establishment and/or in the retail sector at large. Results indicate that firm-specific human capital decreases the probability of quitting, while formal education has the opposite effect. Industry experience and specific retail education, however, decreases the probability of leaving an establishment.
    Keywords: retail; human capital; experience; education; career outcomes; Sweden
    JEL: J24 J62 L81
    Date: 2020–11–17
  11. By: Stéphane Auray (LIEPP); Samuel Danthine; Markus Poschke
    Abstract: Asubstantial share of severance payments derives from private contracts or collective agreements. In this paper, we study the determination of these payments. We analyze joint bargaining over wages and severance payments in a search-and-matching model with risk-averse workers. Individual bargaining results in levels of severance pay that provide full insurance, but also depend on unemployment benefits and job-finding rates. Unions also choose full insurance. Because their higher wage demands reduce job creation, this requires higher severance pay. Severance pay observed in eight European countries, to which we calibrate the model, lies between predictions from the bargaining and union scenarios.
    Keywords: Bargaining; Severance pay; Unemployment insurance; Unions
    JEL: E24 J32 J33 J64 J65
    Date: 2020

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