nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2021‒10‒11
five papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The struggle of small firms to retain high-skill workers: Job duration and importance of knowledge intensity By Hugo Castro-Silva; Francisco Lima
  2. Does Rosie like riveting? Male and female occupational choices By Lordan, Grace; Pischke, Jorn-Steffen
  3. From Micro to Macro Gender Differences: Evidence from Field Tournaments By José De Sousa; Guillaume Hollard
  4. Do Targeted R&D Grants Towards Potential Highgrowth Firms Increase Employment and Demand for High Human Capital Workers? By Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov; Halvarsson, Daniel; Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik; McKelvie, Alexander
  5. Corporate Culture By Gary B. Gorton; Jill Grennan; Alexander K. Zentefis

  1. By: Hugo Castro-Silva (Universidade de Lisboa); Francisco Lima (Universidade de Lisboa)
    Abstract: In the knowledge economy, skilled workers play an important role in innovation and economic growth. However, small firms may not be able to keep these workers. We study how the knowledge-skill complementarity relates to job duration in small and large firms, using a Portuguese linked employer-employee data set. We select workers displaced by firm closure and estimate a discrete-time hazard model with unobserved heterogeneity on the subsequent job relationship. To account for the initial sorting of displaced workers to firms, we introduce weights in the model according to the individual propensity of employment in a small firm. Our results show a lower premium on skills in terms of job duration for small firms. Furthermore, we find evidence of a strong knowledge-skill complementarity in large firms, where the accumulation of firm-specific human capital also plays a more important role in determining the hazard of job separation. For small firms, the complementarity does not translate into longer job duration, even for those with pay policies above the market. Overall, small knowledge-intensive firms struggle to retain high skill workers and find it harder to leverage the knowledge-skill complementarity.
    Keywords: knowledge intensity, technology, firm size, small firms, job duration, skills
    JEL: A1
    Date: 2021
  2. By: Lordan, Grace; Pischke, Jorn-Steffen
    Abstract: Occupational segregation and pay gaps by gender remain large, while many of the constraints traditionally believed to be responsible for these gaps seem to have weakened over time. We explore the possibility that women and men have different tastes for the content of the work that they do. We relate job satisfaction and job mobility to measures that proxy for the content of the work in an occupation, which we label ‘people’, ‘brains’ and ‘brawn’. The results suggest that women value jobs high on ‘people’ content and low on ‘brawn’. Men care about job content in a similar fashion, but have much weaker preferences. High school students show similar preferences in a discrete choice experiment and indicate that they make their choices based mainly on preferences for the work itself. We argue that the more pronounced preferences of women can account for occupational sorting, which often leads them into careers with large pay penalties for interruptions due to childbearing.
    Keywords: ES/M010341/1
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2021–09–16
  3. By: José De Sousa (Université Paris-Saclay); Guillaume Hollard (Institut Polytechnique de Paris (IP Paris))
    Abstract: Women are under-represented in top positions, such as Business, Politics and Science. The same under-representation occurs in chess, providing us with a unique opportunity to analyze this phenomenon. We find a macro gender gap in every country: there are fewer female than male players, especially at the top, and women have lower average rankings. One contribution of this paper is to link the macro gender gap to micro gender differences. Comparing millions of individual games, we find that women’s scores are about 2% lower than expected when playing a man rather than a woman with identical rating, age and country. Using a simple theoretical model, we explain how a small micro gap may affect women’s long-run capital formation. A small difference in outcomes generates a small difference in effort, and thus a lower future ranking. By reducing effort and increasing the probability of quitting, both effects accumulate to discourage women from competing for top positions.
    Keywords: macro gender gap; micro gender differences; under-representation
    Date: 2021–09
  4. By: Daunfeldt, Sven-Olov (Institute of Retail Economics (Handelns Forskningsinstitut)); Halvarsson, Daniel (the Ratio Institute); Gustavsson Tingvall, Patrik (Södertörn University Stockholm, Sweden); McKelvie, Alexander
    Abstract: Most previous studies on the employment effects of government R&D grants targeting SMEs are characterized by data-, measurement-, and selection problems, making it difficult to construct a relevant control group of firms that did not receive a R&D grant. We investigate the effects on employment and firm-level demand for high human capital workers of two Swedish programs targeted towards growth-oriented SMEs using Coarsened Exact Matching. Our most striking result is the absence of any statistically significant effects. We find no robust evidence that the targeted R&D grant programs had any positive and statistically significant effects on the number of employees recruited into these SMEs, or that the grants are associated with an increase in the demand for high human capital workers. The lack of statistically significant findings is troublesome considering that government support programs require a positive impact to cover the administrative costs associated with these programs.
    Keywords: Innovation policy; R&D grants; Matching grants; Statistical matching methods; High human capital; Firm growth; Outcome additionality
    JEL: H81 L25 L26 O38
    Date: 2021–10–01
  5. By: Gary B. Gorton; Jill Grennan; Alexander K. Zentefis
    Abstract: Corporate culture is an omnibus term that includes many elements like norms, values, knowledge, and customs that are relevant to a firm. Economists have made great progress recently in devising methods of measuring different aspects of corporate culture. These empirical measures of culture have explained mergers and acquisitions, corporate risk-taking, and unethical behaviors observed in corporations, among other topics. We argue that unpacking corporate culture into its components is the right way to research it empirically. Theories of corporate culture are still in development, and we discuss the major contributions thus far. We argue that a theory of the firm and of corporate decision-making that is based on corporate culture is more germane to the practical realities of firms’ inner workings than prevailing theories based on agency costs. Corporate culture has the potential to set the theoretical paradigm for all corporate finance research.
    JEL: D23 G30 L22 M14
    Date: 2021–10

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