nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2022‒01‒03
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Gender Quotas and Task Assignment in Organizations By José J. Domínguez; Natalia Montinari
  2. Does a stereotype benefit women in the labor market: An experiment on perseverance By Haeckl, Simone; Kartal, Melis
  3. Selection in Surveys By Deniz Dutz; Ingrid Huitfeldt; Santiago Lacouture; Magne Mogstad; Alexander Torgovitsky; Winnie van Dijk
  4. The role of telework for productivity during and post-COVID-19: Results from an OECD survey among managers and workers By Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
  5. Does Board Overlap Promote Coordination Between Firms? By Heng Geng; Harald Hau; Roni Michaely; Binh Nguyen
  6. Voice and Political Engagement : Evidence From a Natural Field Experiment By Hager, Anselm; Hensel, Lukas; Roth, Christopher; Stegmann, Andreas

  1. By: José J. Domínguez (Department of Economic Theory and Economic History, University of Granada.); Natalia Montinari (Department of Economics, University of Bologna.)
    Abstract: In response to the slow progress toward gender equality observed in the last decades, organizations and policy makers in many countries are increasingly looking at implementing quotas to close the gender gap. However, the expected benefits and potential drawbacks of such interventions are widely debated. We ran a laboratory experiment to investigate how gender quotas in hiring affect the allocation of workers into different tasks within an organization. 128 participants in the role of employers were asked to hire a team of six workers from a pool of 15 and assign them to one of two tasks which differed in complexity and profitability. Employers had information about workers’ age, gender, and university major as well as a signal of performance. Workers assigned to the Simple Task had to complete additions, while workers assigned to the Challenging Task had to solve mathematical problems. Although no gender difference was observable in the performance of either task, in the absence of quotas, high-ability women were both less likely to be hired and less likely to be assigned to the Challenging Task compared to high-ability men. With a quota of 50% female workers imposed on hiring, the number of women assigned to the Simple Task increased, while the number of those assigned to the Challenging Task remained significantly lower compared to men. Our findings suggest that gender quotas to increase the number of women hired may backfire, resulting in their more likely assignment to less-challenging, low-promotability tasks compared to men, and impairing their chances of career advancement. Moreover, we find that in the presence of a gender quota employers’ earnings are significantly lower, and that this is because they are more likely to hire lowability women. One explanation could be that gender quotas convey a message which suggests the overall low quality of the pool of female workers.
    Keywords: Affirmative action, gender quotas, gender gap, task assignment, laboratory experiments.
    JEL: D03 C91 J71
    Date: 2021–12–02
  2. By: Haeckl, Simone (University of Stavanger); Kartal, Melis (WU Vienna)
    Abstract: We design a novel real-effort experiment to investigate gender differences and stereotypes regarding perseverance and how these affect employment decisions. We find that women are more persistent than men and that the subjects anticipate this difference. While it pays off, in expectation, to hire a female over a male candidate in our experimental employment setting, employers are not more likely to hire a female candidate. Thus, even in a setting where female candidates are statistically better workers and employers hold a positive stereotype about women, employers do not hire women more often than men. This finding contrasts with studies showing that men do benefit from positive stereotypes associated with them, and suggests that stereotypes might be more beneficial for men than for women.
    Keywords: non-cognitive skills; perseverance; conscientiousness; gender and stereotypes; labor market experiment
    JEL: C91 J16 J71
    Date: 2021–12–07
  3. By: Deniz Dutz; Ingrid Huitfeldt (Statistics Norway); Santiago Lacouture; Magne Mogstad (Statistics Norway); Alexander Torgovitsky; Winnie van Dijk
    Abstract: We evaluate how nonresponse affects conclusions drawn from survey data and consider how researchers can reliably test and correct for nonresponse bias. To do so, we examine a survey on labor market conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic that used randomly assigned financial incentives to encourage participation. We link the survey data to administrative data sources, allowing us to observe a ground truth for participants and nonparticipants. We find evidence of large nonresponse bias, even after correcting for observable differences between participants and nonparticipants. We apply a range of existing methods that account for nonresponse bias due to unobserved differences, including worst-case bounds, bounds that incorporate monotonicity assumptions, and approaches based on parametric and nonparametric selection models. These methods produce bounds (or point estimates) that are either too wide to be useful or far from the ground truth. We show how these shortcomings can be addressed by modeling how nonparticipation can be both active (declining to participate) and passive (not seeing the survey invitation). The model makes use of variation from the randomly assigned financial incentives, as well as the timing of reminder emails. Applying the model to our data produces bounds (or point estimates) that are narrower and closer to the ground truth than the other methods.
    Keywords: Survey; nonresponse; nonresponse bias
    JEL: C01 C81 C83
    Date: 2021–12
  4. By: Chiara Criscuolo; Peter Gal; Timo Leidecker; Francesco Losma; Giuseppe Nicoletti
    Abstract: Motivated by the sudden adoption of telework in the wake of the COVID 19 pandemic, the Global Forum on Productivity (GFP) undertook an online survey among managers and workers in 25 countries about their experience and expectations, with a particular focus on productivity and well-being. This paper presents analysis and results from this endeavour. It finds that managers and workers had an overall positive assessment from teleworking both for firm performance and for individual well-being, and wish to increase substantially the share of regular teleworkers from pre-crisis levels. Respondents, on average, find that the ideal amount of telework is around 2-3 days per week, in line with other recent evidence and with the idea that the benefits (e.g., less commuting, fewer distractions) and costs (e.g., impaired communication and knowledge flows) need to be balanced at an intermediate level of telework intensity. To meet the challenges of this “hybrid” working mode, as the survey finds, further changes from management are needed, such as the co-ordination of schedules to encourage a sufficient degree of in-person interaction, and further investment in ICT tools and skills as well as more soft skills to master online communication.
    Keywords: productivity, survey, telework, well-being, working from home
    JEL: D24 M1 O3
    Date: 2021–12–16
  5. By: Heng Geng (Victoria University of Wellington); Harald Hau (University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI); Swiss Finance Institute; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)); Roni Michaely (The University of Hong Kong; ECGI); Binh Nguyen (Victoria University of Wellington - Victoria University of Wellington, Students)
    Abstract: We investigate how board overlap affects coordination and performance among public firms. Our identification exploits the staggered introduction of Corporate OpportunityWaivers (COWs) in nine U.S. states since 2000. By reducing legal risk to directors serving on multiple boards, the COW legislation increased intra-industry board overlap for those firms that benefit most from the information flow facilitated by board overlap. We find that more board overlap improves firm profitability but also reduces investment, product overlap, and innovation. Our findings support the notion that board overlap curtails firm rivalry.
    Keywords: Board overlap, corporate opportunity waivers, firm coordination, market power
    JEL: G30 G38 K21 K22
    Date: 2021–11
  6. By: Hager, Anselm (Humboldt University); Hensel, Lukas (Peking University); Roth, Christopher (University of Cologne, ECON tribute, briq, CESifo, CAGE Warwick, CEPR, MPI Bonn); Stegmann, Andreas (University of Warwick, briq, Cage, CEPR,)
    Abstract: We conduct a natural field experiment with a major European party to test whether giving party supporters the opportunity to voice their opinions increases their engagement in the party’s electoral campaign. In our experiment, the party asked a random subset of supporters for their opinions on the importance of different topics. Giving supporters more opportunities to voice their opinions increases their engagement in the campaign as measured using behavioral data from the party’s smartphone application. Survey data reveals that our voice treatments also increase other margins of campaign effort as well as perceived voice. Our evidence highlights that parties can increase their supporters’ investment in the democratic process by implementing policies that increase their voice.
    Keywords: Political engagement ; Inclusion ; Voice ; Agency ; Natural Field Experiment ; Canvassing JEL Classification: D8 ; P16
    Date: 2021

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