nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2021‒09‒27
five papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Competitive versus cooperative incentives in team production with heterogeneous agents By E. Glenn Dutcher; Regine Oexl; Dmitry Ryvkin; Tim Salmon
  2. Agency Costs in Small Firms By Bianchi, Milo; Luomaranta, Henri
  3. Improving Workplace Climate in Large Corporations: A Clustered Randomized Intervention By Sule Alan; Gozde Corekcioglu; Matthias Sutter
  4. Robots and Labor Regulation: A Cross-Country/Cross-Industry Analysis By Silvio Traverso; Massimiliano Vatiero; Enrico Zaninotto
  5. The Dynamics of Referral Hiring and Racial Inequality: Evidence from Brazil By Conrad Miller; Ian M. Schmutte

  1. By: E. Glenn Dutcher; Regine Oexl; Dmitry Ryvkin; Tim Salmon
    Abstract: A debate among practicing managers is whether to use cooperative or competitive incentives for team production. While competitive incentives may drive individual effort higher, they may also lead to less help and more sabotage; an issue exacerbated when team members' abilities are varied. Using a lab experiment, we examine how increasing competitive incentives affects performance as team composition changes. We find that competitive incentives generally underperform noncompetitive incentives and a larger bonus does not generate enough effort to compensate for a loss in help. Our results help understand better how to balance out individual versus team rewards and how firms could structure teams when employees have heterogeneous abilities.
    Keywords: contest, help and sabotage, team composition, incentive structure
    JEL: C92 D01
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Bianchi, Milo; Luomaranta, Henri
    Abstract: We explore how the separation between ownership and control a§ects Örm productivity. Using administrative panel data on the universe of limited liability Örms in Finland, we document a substantial increase in productivity when the CEO obtains majority ownership or when the majority owner becomes the CEO. We exploit plausibly exogenous variations to CEO turnover, induced by shocks to the CEO spouseís health. Extending the analysis beyond typical samples of large public Örms, we show that our e§ects are stronger in medium-sized private Örms. We also investigate possible mechanisms and provide suggestive evidence that increased ownership boosts CEOís e§ort at work.
    Keywords: agency costs;Örm productivity,;CEO ownership.
    JEL: G30 M12 D24 E23 L25
    Date: 2021–08
  3. By: Sule Alan; Gozde Corekcioglu; Matthias Sutter
    Abstract: We evaluate the impact of a program aiming at improving the workplace climate in corporations. The program is implemented via a clustered randomized design and evaluated with respect to the prevalence of support networks, antisocial behavior, perceived relational atmosphere, and turnover rate. We find that professionals in treated corporations are less inclined to engage in toxic competition, exhibit higher reciprocity toward each other, report higher workplace satisfaction and a more collegial atmosphere. Treated firms have fewer socially isolated individuals and a lower employee turnover. The program's success in improving leader-subordinate relationships emerges as a likely mechanism to explain these results.
    Keywords: workplace climate, relational dynamics, leadership quality, RCT
    JEL: C93 M14 M53
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Silvio Traverso; Massimiliano Vatiero; Enrico Zaninotto
    Abstract: This work discusses and empirically investigates the relationship between labor regulation and robotization. In particular, the empirical analysis focuses on the relationship between the discipline of workers’ dismissal and the adoption of indus- trial robots in nineteen Western countries over the 2006–2016 period. We find that high levels of statutory employment protection have been negatively associated with robot adoption, suggesting that labor-friendly national legislations, by increasing adjustment costs (such as firing costs), and thus making investment riskier, provide less favorable environments for firms to invest in industrial robots. We also find, however, that the correlation is positively mediated by the sectoral levels of capital intensity, a hint that firms do resort to industrial robots as potential substitutes for workers to reduce employees’ bargaining power and to limit their hold-up opportu- nities, which tend to be larger in sectors characterized by high levels of operating leverage.
    Keywords: Robot adoption, Labor regulation, Hold-up
    JEL: K31 O31
    Date: 2021
  5. By: Conrad Miller; Ian M. Schmutte
    Abstract: We study how referral hiring contributes to racial inequality in firm-level labor demand over the firm's life cycle using data from Brazil. We consider a search model where referral networks are segregated, firms are more informed about the match quality of referred candidates, and some referrals are made by non-referred employees. Consistent with the model, we find that firms are more likely to hire candidates and less likely to dismiss employees of the same race as the founder, but these differences diminish as firms' cumulative hires increase. Referral hiring helps to explain racial differences in dismissals, seniority, and employer size.
    JEL: J71 M51 Z13
    Date: 2021–09

This nep-hrm issue is ©2021 by Patrick Kampkötter. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.