nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2021‒07‒19
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The Market for CEOs By Peter Cziraki; Dirk Jenter
  2. Effects of incentive framing on performance and effort: evidence from a medically framed experiment By Lagarde, Mylène; Blaauw, Duane
  3. Management Practices Drive Productivity – But Not Without Human Capital By Ohlsbom, Roope
  4. Bad bosses and self-verification: the moderating role of core self-evaluations with trust in workplace management By Booth, Jonathan E.; Shantz, Amanda; Glomb, Theresa M.; Duffy, Michelle K.; Stillwell, Elizabeth E.
  5. The Demand for Executive Skills By Stephen Hansen; Tejas Ramdas; Raffaella Sadun; Joe Fuller
  6. Employers’ willingness to invest in the training of temporary workers: a discrete choice experiment By Poulissen, Davey; de Grip, Andries; Fouarge, Didier; Künn, Annemarie
  7. The impact of Covid-19 on productivity By Nicholas Bloom; Philip Bunn; Paul Mizen; Pawel Smietanka; Gregory Thwaites
  8. Skill Demand and Wages. Evidence from Linked Vacancy Data By Ziegler, Lennart
  9. Limited Self-knowledge and Survey Response Behavior By Armin Falk; Thomas Neuber; Philipp Strack

  1. By: Peter Cziraki; Dirk Jenter
    Abstract: We study the market for CEOs of large publicly-traded US firms, analyze new CEOs’ prior connections to the hiring firm, and explore how hiring choices are determined. Firms are hiring from a surprisingly small pool of candidates. More than 80% of new CEOs are insiders, defined as current or former employees or board members. Boards are already familiar with more than 90% of new CEOs, as they are either insiders or executives who directors have previously worked with. There are few reallocations of CEOs across firms – firms raid CEOs of other firms in only 3% of cases. Pay differences appear too small to explain these hiring choices. The evidence suggests that firm-specific human capital, asymmetric information, and other frictions have first-order effects on the assignment of CEOs to firms.
    Keywords: CEO labor markets, CEO-firm matching, assignment models, CEO turnover, CEO compensation
    JEL: D22 G34 J23 M12 M51
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Lagarde, Mylène; Blaauw, Duane
    Abstract: We study the effects on performance of incentives framed as gains or losses, as well as the effort channels through which individuals increase performance. We also explore potential spill-over effects on a non-incentivised activity. Subjects participated in a medically framed real-effort task under one of the three contracts, varying the type of performance incentive received: (1) no incentive; (2) incentive framed as a gain; or (3) incentive framed as a loss. We find that performance improved similarly with incentives framed as losses or gains. However, individuals increase performance differently under the two frames: potential losses increase participants’ performance through a greater attention (fewer mistakes), while bonuses increase the time spent on the rewarded activity. There is no spill-over effect, either negative or positive, on the non-incentivised activity. We discuss the meaning and implications of our results for the design of performance contracts.
    Keywords: penalties; rewards; laboratory experiment; prosocial motivation; intrinsic motivation; Springer deal
    JEL: C91 D64 I11
    Date: 2021–06–20
  3. By: Ohlsbom, Roope
    Abstract: Abstract Data collected with the Finnish Management and Organizational Practices Survey (FMOP) is used to study the association between management practices and firm productivity, and to examine whether human capital intensity acts as a moderator variable for this relationship. A comparison of how well different models predict productivity from management practices and human capital reveals a linear two-way interaction between the education of managers and management practices. We find evidence that the marginal benefit of adopting more structured management practices is different for establishments with different levels of managerial human capital. Testing and accounting for this interaction is important for reliable estimation of the management-productivity relationship. Accounting for the interaction, a 10 percent increase in the FMOP management score is found to be associated with an average of 7.1 percent higher labour productivity. Management practices can account for more than 24 percent of the observed productivity dispersion. This is close to as much as is accounted for by information and communication technologies and more than by research and development and human capital.
    Keywords: Management practices, Management survey, FMOP, Productivity, Human capital, Education
    JEL: D22 J24 L25 L60 M11 M50
    Date: 2021–07–06
  4. By: Booth, Jonathan E.; Shantz, Amanda; Glomb, Theresa M.; Duffy, Michelle K.; Stillwell, Elizabeth E.
    Abstract: Who responds most strongly to supervisor social undermining? Building on self-verification theory (Swann, 1983, 1987), we theorize that employees with positive views of the self (i.e., higher core self-evaluations [CSEs]) who also maintain higher trust in workplace management are more likely to experience heightened stress and turnover intentions when undermined. We argue that this subset of employees (high CSE, high trust) are more likely to feel misunderstood when undermined by their supervisor and that this lack of self-verification partially explains their stronger responses to supervisor undermining. We find initial support for the first part of our model in a study of 259 healthcare workers in the United States and replicate and extend our findings in the second study of 330 employees in the United Kingdom. Our results suggest that the employees Human Resources often wishes to attract and retain—employees with high CSE and high trust in workplace management—react most strongly to supervisor social undermining.
    Keywords: core self-evaluations; self-verification; stress appraisals; supervisor social; trust in workplace management; turnover intentions
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2020–03–01
  5. By: Stephen Hansen; Tejas Ramdas; Raffaella Sadun; Joe Fuller
    Abstract: We use a unique corpus of job descriptions for C-suite positions to document skills requirements in top managerial occupations across a large sample of firms. A novel algorithm maps the text of each executive search into six separate skill clusters reflecting cognitive, interpersonal, and operational dimensions. The data show an increasing relevance of social skills in top managerial occupations, and a greater emphasis on social skills in larger and more information intensive organizations. The results suggest the need for training, search and governance mechanisms able to facilitate the match between firms and top executives along multiple and imperfectly observable skills.
    JEL: J23 J24 M12
    Date: 2021–06
  6. By: Poulissen, Davey (RS: GSBE other - not theme-related research, ROA / Health, skills and inequality); de Grip, Andries (ROA / Health, skills and inequality, RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: SBE - MACIMIDE); Fouarge, Didier (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, RS: GSBE Theme Data-Driven Decision-Making, ROA / Labour market and training); Künn, Annemarie (RS: GSBE Theme Learning and Work, ROA / Labour market and training)
    Abstract: Various studies have shown that temporary workers participate less in training than those on permanent contracts. Human resources practices are considered to be an important explanation for this difference. We develop a theoretical framework for employers’ provision of training that explicitly incorporates the costs and benefits associated with training investments in employees with different types of employment contracts. Our framework not only predicts employers to be less willing to invest in temporary workers due to the shorter time horizon associated with such an investment, but it also provides insights into how this willingness depends on characteristics of the training that are related to the expected costs and benefits of the training investment. A discrete choice experiment is used to empirically test the predictions from our theoretical framework. In line with our theoretical framework, we find that employers are less likely to invest in the training of temporary workers. This particularly holds when temporary workers do not have the prospect of a permanent contract with their current employer. Furthermore, we show that employers’ likelihood of investing in temporary workers indeed depends on aspects related to the costs and benefits of training, that is, a financial contribution to the training costs made by employees, a repayment agreement that applies when workers leave the organisation prematurely, and the transferability of the skills being trained. Our findings can be used to increase employers’ willingness to invest in temporary workers. However, similar effects are observed when looking at employers’ willingness to invest in permanent workers, suggesting that it will be difficult to decrease the gap in employers’ willingness to invest between temporary and permanent workers.
    JEL: J24 J41 J62
    Date: 2021–05–27
  7. By: Nicholas Bloom; Philip Bunn; Paul Mizen; Pawel Smietanka; Gregory Thwaites
    Abstract: We analyze 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 senior management time spent on dealing with the pandemic.
    Keywords: covid-19; pandemic; productivity
    Date: 2020
  8. By: Ziegler, Lennart (University of Vienna)
    Abstract: This study provides new evidence on skill requirements in the labor market and shows to what extent skill demand is associated with wages and vacancy duration. Using more than 1.5 million job postings administered by the Austrian public employment service, I identify the most common skill requirements mentioned in job descriptions. Because employers in Austria are legally required to state the minimum remuneration for advertised positions, it is possible to relate the skill content of jobs to wage postings. Moreover, I estimate skill associations with starting wages for a subset of vacancies which can be matched to administrative data on employment spells of eventual hires. Accounting for education, work experience, and firm and occupation fixed-effects, there exists a robust association between the number of skill requirements and wages. In particular, jobs with many skill requirements pay substantially higher wages. While I estimate large effects for managerial and analytical skills, associations with most soft skills are small. Employers also need longer to fill vacancies with many skill requirements. Robustness tests show that measurement error is unlikely to explain these results and that the estimates can be replicated using vacancy postings from another job board.
    Keywords: job advertisements, job boards, skills, wage differentials, vacancy duration
    JEL: J23 J24 J31
    Date: 2021–06
  9. By: Armin Falk (briq and the University of Bonn); Thomas Neuber (University of Bonn); Philipp Strack (Yale University)
    Abstract: We study response behavior in surveys and show how the explanatory power of self-reports can be improved. First, we develop a choice model of survey response behavior under the assumption that the respondent has imperfect self-knowledge about her individual characteristics. In panel data, the model predicts that the variance in responses for different characteristics increases in self-knowledge and that the variance for a given characteristic over time is non-monotonic in self-knowledge. Importantly, the ratio of these variances identifies an individual's level of self-knowledge, i.e. the latter can be inferred from observed response patterns. Second, we develop a consistent and unbiased estimator for self-knowledge based on the model. Third, we run an experiment to test the model's main predictions in a context where the researcher knows the true underlying characteristics. The data confirm the model's predictions as well as the estimator's validity. Finally, we turn to a large panel data set, estimate individual levels of self-knowledge, and show that accounting for differences in self-knowledge significantly increases the explanatory power of regression models. Using a median split in self-knowledge and regressing risky behaviors on self-reported risk attitudes, we find that the R2 can be multiple times larger for above- than below-median subjects. Similarly, gender differences in risk attitudes are considerably larger when restricting samples to subjects with high self-knowledge. These examples illustrate how using the estimator may improve inference from survey data.
    Keywords: survey research, rational inattention, laboratory experiments, non-cognitive skills, preferences
    JEL: C83 D91 J24
    Date: 2021–07

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