nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2022‒08‒08
six papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Firm responses to a more generous insurance against high sick pay costs By Hall, Caroline; Liljeberg, Linus; Lindahl, Erica
  2. The benefits of coordination in (over)adaptive virtual teams By Dar\'io Blanco-Fern\'andez; Stephan Leitner; Alexandra Rausch
  3. Industrial Robots, Workers' Safety, and Health By Rania Gihleb; Osea Giuntella; Luca Stella; Tianyi Wang
  4. Are women more resilient? Gender differences in the reaction to negative feedback By Lisa Beck-Werz; Thomas Fritz
  5. Revolution in Progress? The Rise of Remote Work in the UK By Draca, Mirko; Duchini, Emma; Rathelot, Roland; Turrell, Arthur; Vattuone, Giulia
  6. Corporate Training and Skill Gaps: Did COVID-19 Stem EU Convergence in Training Investments? By Pouliakas, Konstantinos; Wruuck, Patricia

  1. By: Hall, Caroline (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Liljeberg, Linus (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy); Lindahl, Erica (IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy)
    Abstract: This paper presents evidence on how firms react to a more generous insurance against high sick pay costs. We exploit a reform launched in Sweden in 2015, which introduced different thresholds for insurance reimbursement depending on firm size. By comparing workers in smaller firms with workers in large firms over time, we evaluate the effects of the reform. We find no indication of changed behaviour among employees in the smallest firms (on average 15 employees), but an increase in sickness absence among those employed in middle-sized firms (on average 38 employees). The increased absence in middle-sized firms is entirely driven by new hires, but the newly hired employees do not seem to be differently selected. We find no evidence indicating that the more generous insurance made firms more inclined to employ more sick-prone individuals. Further analysis suggests that the absence of behavioural responses among employees in the smallest firms might be related to a large production loss from an absent worker, which the insurance cannot fully compensate for. Taken together, we find no support for any societal benefits of a more generous insurance against high sick pay costs in terms of an increased employment-probability among more sick-prone individuals.
    Keywords: sickness absence; sick pay; firm size; insurance; recruitment
    JEL: J22 J23 L23 M51
    Date: 2022–07–04
  2. By: Dar\'io Blanco-Fern\'andez; Stephan Leitner; Alexandra Rausch
    Abstract: The emergence of new organizational forms--such as virtual teams--has brought forward some challenges for teams. One of the most relevant challenges is coordinating the decisions of team members who work from different time zones. Intuition suggests that task performance should improve if the team members' decisions are coordinated. However, previous research suggests that the effect of coordination on task performance is ambiguous. Specifically, the effect of coordination on task performance depends on aspects such as the team members' learning and the changes in team composition over time. This paper aims to understand how individual learning and team composition moderate the relationship between coordination and task performance. We implement an agent-based modeling approach based on the NK-framework to fulfill our research objective. Our results suggest that both factors have moderating effects. Specifically, we find that excessively increasing individual learning is harmful for the task performance of fully autonomous teams, but less detrimental for teams that coordinate their decisions. In addition, we find that teams that coordinate their decisions benefit from changing their composition in the short-term, but fully autonomous teams do not. In conclusion, teams that coordinate their decisions benefit more from individual learning and dynamic composition than teams that do not coordinate. Nevertheless, we should note that the existence of moderating effects does not imply that coordination improves task performance. Whether coordination improves task performance depends on the interdependencies between the team members' decisions.
    Date: 2022–06
  3. By: Rania Gihleb; Osea Giuntella; Luca Stella; Tianyi Wang
    Abstract: This study explores the relationship between the adoption of industrial robots and workplace injuries. Using establishment-level data on injuries, we find that a one standard deviation increase in our commuting zone-level measure of robot exposure reduces work-related annual injury rates by approximately 1.2 cases per 100 workers. US commuting zones more exposed to robot penetration experience a significant increase in drug- or alcohol-related deaths and mental health problems. Employing longitudinal data from Germany, we exploit within-individual changes in robot exposure and document that a one standard deviation change in robot exposure led to a 4% decline in physical job intensity and a 5% decline in disability, but no evidence of significant effects on mental health and work and life satisfaction.
    JEL: I10 J0 J28
    Date: 2022–06
  4. By: Lisa Beck-Werz (Paderborn University); Thomas Fritz (FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences)
    Keywords: competition; gender differences; negative feedback; reaction to failure; career decisions; gender gap
    JEL: J16 D91 M50
    Date: 2022–07
  5. By: Draca, Mirko (University of Warwick, Department of Economics); Duchini, Emma (University of Essex, Department of Economics); Rathelot, Roland (Institut Polytechnique de Paris); Turrell, Arthur (Office for National Statistics); Vattuone, Giulia (University of Warwick)
    Abstract: The pandemic was accompanied by a wave of adoption of remote work practices. This paper uses online job vacancy data to study how UK firms have adopted remote work. Overall, remote work increased by 300%. Our analysis finds little evidence that occupations have fundamentally changed to better accommodate remote work tasks, nor evidence of changes in the occupational composition of jobs. We find that the overall increase in remote working is driven by the increasing use of remote work at the firm level, especially among firms that were less likely to use remote work before the pandemic. This is consistent with changes in organisational practices or updated information about the viability of large-scale remote working. JEL codes: J23 ; J32.
    Keywords: vacancies ; remote working ; pandemic
    Date: 2022
  6. By: Pouliakas, Konstantinos (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop)); Wruuck, Patricia (European Investment Bank)
    Abstract: European firms have increasingly invested in training of employees but differences across countries and types of firms remain – and the Covid-19 shock may have exacerbated them. This report analyses European firms' investment in training over the last six years examining trends, factors supporting training investment as well as the impact of the Covid-19 shock. We base the empirical analysis on a unique dataset, the European Investment Bank's Investment Survey (EIBIS), which allows tracking corporate training investment on a yearly basis. To understand dynamics underpinning firms' decision to invest in their workforce, we examine transition patterns and employ dynamic panel data estimation. Finally, we analyze the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on firms' investment in workforce training and transitions in and out of training. We find that despite a slow upward trend in training investment observed in recent years, supported by labour market recovery, differences across firms and countries have persisted. The pandemic risks aggravating these, through its asymmetric impact on labour markets and differences in corporate innovation, firm structure and resilience. While firm training can be an important element for firms and their workforce to adjust to the post-pandemic environment, asymmetries in training investment could make it harder for those already lagging. The paper concludes with a discussion of policy implications.
    Keywords: training, skill gaps, investment, COVID-19, panel data, EIB Investment survey
    JEL: J24 M53 C23 D22 E22
    Date: 2022–06

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