nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2021‒01‒11
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Gender and leadership in organizations: Promotions, demotions and angry workers By Priyanka Chakraborty; Danila Serra
  2. Discrimination, Managers, and Firm Performance: Evidence from "Aryanizations" in Nazi Germany By Kilian Huber; Volker Lindenthal; Fabian Waldinger
  3. Macroeconomic Conditions When Young Shape Job Preferences for Life By Maria Cotofan; Lea Cassar; Robert Dur; Stephan Meijer
  4. Performance Pay in Insurance Markets: Evidence from Medicare By Michele Fioretti; Hongming Wang
  5. Subjective Judgment and Gender Bias in Advice: Evidence from the Laboratory By Silva Goncalves, Juliana; van Veldhuizen, Roel
  6. The impact of Covid-19 on productivity By Bloom, Nicholas; Bunn, Philip; Mizen, Paul; Smietanka, Pawel; Thwaites, Gregory

  1. By: Priyanka Chakraborty (Allegheny College, Department of Economics); Danila Serra (Texas A&M University, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: Managerial decisions, such as promotions and demotions, please some employees and upset others. We examine whether having to communicate such decisions to employees, and knowing that employees may react badly, have a differential impact on men's and women's self-selection into leadership roles and their performance if they become leaders. In a novel laboratory experiment that simulates corporate decision-making, we find that women are significantly less likely to self-select into a managerial position when employees can send them angry messages. Once in the manager role, there is some evidence of gender differences in decision-making, but no difference in final outcomes, i.e., overall profits. Male and female managers use different language to motivate their employees, yet differences in communication styles emerge only when workers can send angry messages to managers. Finally, low-rank employees send more angry messages to female managers, and are more likely to question their decisions.
    Keywords: Gender Differences, Leadership, Backlash, Experiment.
    JEL: C92 D91 J16
    Date: 2021–01–04
  2. By: Kilian Huber; Volker Lindenthal; Fabian Waldinger
    Abstract: Large-scale increases in discrimination can lead to dismissals of highly qualified managers. We investigate how expulsions of senior Jewish managers, due to rising discrimination in Nazi Germany, affected large corporations. Firms that lost Jewish managers experienced persistent reductions in stock prices, dividends, and returns on assets. Aggregate market value fell by roughly 1.8 percent of German GNP because of the expulsions. Managers who served as key connectors to other firms and managers who were highly educated were particularly important for firm performance. The findings imply that individual managers drive firm performance. Discrimination against qualified business leaders causes first-order economic losses.
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Maria Cotofan (LSE); Lea Cassar (University of Regensburg); Robert Dur (Erasmus University Rotterdam); Stephan Meijer (Columbia Business School)
    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 experienced macroeconomic conditions during young adulthood. 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 difference
    JEL: M5 D9 E7
    Date: 2021–01–04
  4. By: Michele Fioretti (Department of Economics, Sciences Po); Hongming Wang (Center for Global Economic Systems, Hitotsubashi University)
    Abstract: Public procurement bodies increasingly resort to pay-for-performance contracts to promote efficient spending. We show that firm responses to pay-for-performance can widen the inequality in accessing social services. Focusing on the U.S. Medicare Advantage market, we find that insurers with higher quality ratings responded to bonus payments by selecting healthier enrollees with premium differences across counties. Selection is profitable because the quality rating fails to adjust for differences in the health of enrollees. Selection inflated the bonus payments and shifted the supply of high-rated insurance to the healthiest counties, hurting the healthcare access of sicker patients in the riskiest counties.
    Keywords: pay-for-performance, Medicare Advantage, risk selection, quality ratings, health insurance access
    JEL: I
    Date: 2020
  5. By: Silva Goncalves, Juliana (University of Sydney, Australia); van Veldhuizen, Roel (Department of Economics, Lund University)
    Abstract: Better understanding and reducing gender gaps in the labor market remains an important policy goal. We study the role of advice in sustaining these gender gaps using a laboratory experiment. In the experiment, “advisers” advise “workers” to choose between a more ambitious and a less ambitious task based on the worker’s subjective self-assessment. We expected female workers to be less confident and advisers to hold gender stereotypes, leading to a gender bias in advice. However, we find no evidence that women are less confident or that advice is gender-biased. Our results contribute to our understanding of the mechanisms driving gender differences in the labor market. They also call for caution when making general interpretations of research findings pointing to a gender bias in specific settings.
    Keywords: Advice; Subjective judgment; Gender bias
    JEL: C91 D91 J16
    Date: 2020–12–14
  6. By: Bloom, Nicholas (Stanford University); Bunn, Philip (Bank of England); Mizen, Paul (University of Nottingham); Smietanka, Pawel (Bank of England); Thwaites, Gregory (University of Nottingham)
    Abstract: We analyse the impact of Covid-19 on productivity in the United Kingdom using data derived from a large monthly firm panel survey. Our estimates suggest that Covid-19 will reduce TFP in the private sector by up to 5% in 2020 Q4, falling back to a 1% reduction in the medium term. Firms anticipate a large reduction in ‘within-firm’ productivity, primarily because measures to contain Covid-19 are expected to increase intermediate costs. The negative ‘within-firm’ effect is partially offset by a positive ‘between-firm’ effect as low productivity sectors, and the least productive firms among them, are disproportionately affected by Covid-19 and consequently make a smaller contribution to the economy. In the longer run, productivity growth is likely to be reduced by diminished R&D expenditure and diverted CEOs’ time spent on dealing with the pandemic.
    Keywords: Productivity; reallocation; Covid-19; growth
    JEL: O32 O33
    Date: 2020–12–21

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