nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2022‒02‒14
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Gender Differences in Private and Public Goal Setting By Jordi Brandts; Sabrine El Baroudi; Stefanie Huber; Christina Rott
  2. I Won’t Make the Same Mistake Again: Burnout History and Job Preferences By Philippe Sterkens; Stijn Baert; Eline Moens; Eva Derous; Joey Wuyts
  3. Sector switching in Germany By Prümer, Stephanie
  4. Mental Health Consequences of Working from Home during the Pandemic By Kim, Jun Hyung; Koh, Yu Kyung; Park, Jinseong
  5. The impact of working conditions on mental health: novel evidence from the UK By Michele Belloni; Ludovico Carrino; Elena Meschi
  6. Big and Small Lies By D.J. da Cunha Batista Geraldes; Franziska Heinicke; Duk Gyoo Kim

  1. By: Jordi Brandts; Sabrine El Baroudi (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Stefanie Huber (University of Amsterdam); Christina Rott (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam)
    Abstract: We conduct a field and an online classroom experiment to study gender differences in self-set performance goals and their effects on performance in a real-effort task. We distinguish between public and private goals, performance being public and identifiable in both cases. Participants set significantly more ambitious goals when these are public. Women choose lower goals than men in both treatments. Men perform better than women under private and public goals as well as in the absence of goal setting, consistent with the identifiability of performance causing gender differences, as found in other studies. Compared to private goal setting, public goal setting does not affect men’s performance at all but it leads to women’s performance being significantly lower. Comparing self-set goals with actual performance we find that under private goal setting women’s performance is on average 67% of goals, whereas for men it is 57%. Under public goal setting the corresponding percentages are 43% and 39%, respectively.
    Keywords: gender differences, goal setting, public observability, experiment
    JEL: C91 J01 J16 J82
    Date: 2022–01–28
  2. By: Philippe Sterkens; Stijn Baert; Eline Moens; Eva Derous; Joey Wuyts (-)
    Abstract: The existing burnout literature has predominantly focussed on the determinants of burnout, whereas its consequences for individual careers have received little attention. In this study, we investigate whether recently burned-out individuals and persons with a very high risk of clinical burnout differ in job preferences from non-burned-out workers. Moreover, we link these differences in preferences with (1) diverging perceptions of job demands and resources in a job, as well as (2) distinct weighting of such perceptions. To this end, a highquality sample of 582 employees varying in their history and current risk of burnout judged fictitious job offers with experimentally manipulated characteristics in terms of their willingness to apply as well as perceived job demands and resources. We find that recently burned-out employees appreciate possibilities to telework and fixed feedback relatively more, while being relatively less attracted to opportunities for learning on the job. Moreover, employees with a very high risk of burnout are more attracted to part-time jobs. These findings can be partially explained by differences in the perceived resources offered by jobs.
    Keywords: burnout, labour market, job search, job preference, factorial survey experiment
    JEL: J62 I12 C91 C83
    Date: 2022–01
  3. By: Prümer, Stephanie
    Abstract: Changes in the employment sector over the course of a career, i.e., employees switching from the private to the public sector or vice versa, are a common phenomenon. These sector switches have hardly been studied so far. Using data from the German Socio-Economic Panel I give insights into sector switching in Germany. Further, I analyze whether individual characteristics or attitudes affect the probability of switching sectors. I show that women are more likely to switch to the public sector than men and that the probability of switching to the public sector is positively related to education. In contrast, attitudes rather than socio-demographic characteristics are relevant for the probability of switching to the private sector. I argue that deepening the knowledge of sector switching can enrich public sector human resource management.
    Keywords: Sector Switching,Public Sector,Germany
    JEL: J45 J69 M5
    Date: 2021
  4. By: Kim, Jun Hyung; Koh, Yu Kyung; Park, Jinseong
    Abstract: This paper examines the effects of working from home on mental health, with particular attention to the role of home environments. Using unique real time survey data from South Korea collected during the COVID-19 pandemic, we find that working from home negatively affects the mental health of workers, with greater effects on women and those who are primarily responsible for housework while also maintaining market work. Surprisingly, workers who live with children in the household do not suffer from the negative effects of working from home. Our findings suggest that family-work interaction may be an important factor in the optimal design of working from home.
    Keywords: Working from home,home working,remote work,COVID-19,mental health,subjective well-being
    JEL: D13 L23 L84 M11 M54
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Michele Belloni; Ludovico Carrino; Elena Meschi
    Abstract: This paper investigates the causal impact of working conditions on mental health in the UK, combining new comprehensive longitudinal data on working conditions from the European Working Condition Survey with microdata from the UK Household Longitudinal Survey (Understanding Society). Our empirical strategy accounts for the endogenous sorting of individuals into occupations by including individual fixed effects. It addresses the potential endogeneity of occupational change over time by focusing only on individuals who remain in the same occupation (same ISCO), exploiting the variation in working conditions within each occupation over time. This variation, determined primarily by general macroeconomic conditions, is likely to be exogenous from the individual point of view. Our results indicate that improvements in working conditions have a beneficial, statistically significant, and clinically meaningful impact on depressive symptoms for women. A one standard deviation increase in the skills and discretion index reduces depression score by 2.84 points, which corresponds to approximately 20% of the GHQ score standard deviation, while a one standard deviation increase in working time quality reduces depression score by 0.97 points. The results differ by age: improvements in skills and discretion benefit younger workers (through increases in decision latitude and training) and older workers (through higher cognitive roles), as do improvements in working time quality; changes in work intensity and physical environment affect only younger and older workers, respectively. Each aspect of job quality impacts different dimensions of mental health. Specifically, skills and discretion primarily affect the loss of confidence and anxiety; working time quality impacts anxiety and social dysfunction; work intensity affects the feeling of social dysfunction among young female workers. Finally, we show that improvements in levels of job control (higher skills and discretion) and job demand (lower intensity) lead to greater health benefits, especially for occupations that are inherently characterised by higher job strain.
    Keywords: mental health, working conditions, job demand, job control.
    JEL: I1 J24 J28 J81
    Date: 2022–01
  6. By: D.J. da Cunha Batista Geraldes; Franziska Heinicke; Duk Gyoo Kim
    Abstract: Lying involves many decisions yielding big or small benefits. Are big and small lies complementary or supplementary? In a laboratory experiment where the participants could simultaneously tell a big and a small lie, our study finds that lies are complementary. The participants who lie more in the big lie, also do so in the small lie and vice versa. Our study also finds that although replacing one dimension of the lying opportunities with a randomly determined prize does not affect the overall lying behavior, repeatedly being lucky on a high-stakes prize leads to less lying on the report of a low-stakes outcome.
    Keywords: laboratory experiment, lying, luck, honesty
    Date: 2021–01

This nep-hrm issue is ©2022 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.