nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2022‒11‒14
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Motivating Teams : Private Feedback and Public Recognition at Work By Delavallade,Clara Anne
  2. Nudging the Nudger: A Field Experiment on the Effect of Performance Feedback to Service Agents on Increasing Organ Donor Registrations By Julian House; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis; Nina Mazar
  3. Employer Cooperation, Productivity, and Wages: New Evidence from Inter-Firm Formal Network Agreements By Devicienti, Francesco; Grinza, Elena; Manello, Alessandro; Vannoni, Davide
  4. The Role of Within-Occupation Task Changes in Wage Development By Bachmann, Ronald; Demir, Gökay; Green, Colin P.; Uhlendorff, Arne
  5. Filling the Gap: The Consequences of Collaborator Loss in Corporate R&D By Pöge, Felix; Gaessler, Fabian; Hoisl, Karin; Harhoff, Dietmar; Dorner, Matthias
  6. Gender diversity, labour in the boardroom and gender quotas By Kunze, Astrid; Katrin Scharfenkamp, Katrin
  7. What's My Employee Worth? The Effects of Salary Benchmarking By Zoe B. Cullen; Shengwu Li; Ricardo Perez-Truglia
  8. Peers and stars: the role of gender among coinventors. By Caviggioli, Federico; Colombelli, Alessandra; Ravetti, Chiara

  1. By: Delavallade,Clara Anne
    Abstract: Aside from money, what works best to incentivize teams? Using a randomized field experiment, this paper tests whether fixed-wage workers respond better to receiving private feedback on performance or to competing for public recognition. Female school feeding teams in 450 South African schools were randomly assigned to receiving (i) private feedback: information on performance and ranking using scorecards, (ii) public recognition: public ceremony award for top performers, (iii) both feedback and award, or (iv) no intervention. The analysis yields two main findings. First, while private feedback and public award are more effective when offered separately, receiving feedback on performance boosts teams’ effort more than public recognition. Second, image motivation crowds out intrinsic motivation, especially for low-ability teams. This suggests that providing performance feedback can be an effective policy for leveraging intrinsic motivation and improving service delivery, more so than mechanisms leveraging image motivation.
    Keywords: Health Service Management and Delivery,Wages, Compensation&Benefits,Educational Sciences,Gender and Development
    Date: 2021–04–12
  2. By: Julian House; Nicola Lacetera; Mario Macis; Nina Mazar
    Abstract: We conducted a randomized controlled trial involving nearly 700 customer-service representatives (CSRs) in a Canadian government service agency to study whether providing CSRs with performance feedback with or without peer comparison affected their subsequent organ donor registration rates. Despite having no tie to remuneration or promotion, the provision of individual performance feedback three times over one year resulted in a 25% increase in daily signups, compared to otherwise similar encouragement and reminders. Adding benchmark information that compared CSRs performance to average and top peer performance did not further enhance this effect. Registrations increased more among CSRs whose performance was already above average, and there was no negative effect on lower-performing CSRs. A post-intervention survey showed that CSRs found the information included in the treatments helpful and encouraging. However, performance feedback without benchmark information increased perceived pressure to perform.
    JEL: C93 D90 H41 I10 J45 M50
    Date: 2022–10
  3. By: Devicienti, Francesco (University of Turin); Grinza, Elena (University of Milan); Manello, Alessandro (University of Turin); Vannoni, Davide (University of Turin)
    Abstract: Using uniquely rich administrative matched employer-employee data, we investigate the impact of formal network agreements (FNAs) among firms under two perspectives. First, we assess the impact of joining a FNA on several indicators of firm performance, and total factor productivity. Second, we investigate whether and how such effects are transmitted to the workers, in terms of wage changes. On the firm-level side, we find an overall significant and economically relevant positive effect of FNAs on firm performance, which resists a large set of robustness tests. However, such a positive effect on firms does not translate into tangible benefits for the workers, on average. After estimating an array of multiple-way fixed effects wage regressions, we find a negative, though small, wage effect. Moreover, we detect a rather marked heterogeneity in the impacts on both firms and workers. The estimation of rent-sharing equations, as well as other tests that exploit unionization data, suggest that the negative effects on wages might be explained by a decrease in workers' bargaining power following the introduction of FNAs.
    Keywords: Inter-firm cooperation, formal network agreements, firm performance, total factor productivity (TFP), wages, matched employer-employee data
    JEL: L14 D24 J31
    Date: 2022–10
  4. By: Bachmann, Ronald (RWI); Demir, Gökay (RWI); Green, Colin P. (Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)); Uhlendorff, Arne (CREST)
    Abstract: We examine how changes in task content over time condition occupational wage development. Using survey data from Germany, we document substantial heterogeneity in within-occupational changes in task content. Combining this evidence with administrative data on individual employment outcomes over a 25-year period, we find important heterogeneity in wage penalties amongst initially routine intensive jobs. While occupations that remain (relatively) routine intensive generate substantial wage penalties, occupations with a decreasing routine intensity experience stable or even increasing wages. These findings cannot be explained by composition or cohort effects.
    Keywords: technological progress, polarization, tasks, routine workers, training
    JEL: J31 J24 E24
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Pöge, Felix (Boston University); Gaessler, Fabian (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition); Hoisl, Karin (Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition); Harhoff, Dietmar (University of Munich); Dorner, Matthias (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: We examine how collaborator loss affects knowledge workers in corporate R&D. We argue that such a loss affects the remaining collaborators not only by reducing their team-specific capital (as argued in the prior literature) but also by increasing their bargaining power over the employer, who is in need of filling the gap left by the lost collaborator to ensure the continuation of R&D projects. This shift in bargaining power may, in turn, lead to benefits, such as additional resources or more attractive working conditions. These benefits can partially compensate for the negative effect of reduced team-specific capital on productivity and influence the career trajectories of the remaining collaborators. We empirically investigate the consequences of collaborator loss by exploiting 845 unexpected deaths of active inventors. We find that inventor death has a moderate negative effect on the productivity of the remaining collaborators. This negative effect disappears when we focus on the remaining collaborators who work for the same employer as the deceased inventor. Moreover, this group is more likely to be promoted and less likely to leave their current employer.
    Keywords: collaboration, mobility, innovation, inventors, patents, teams
    JEL: J62 O32 J24
    Date: 2022–10
  6. By: Kunze, Astrid (Dept. of Economics, Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration); Katrin Scharfenkamp, Katrin (University of Bielefeld)
    Abstract: This study investigates boards of (non-executive) directors and whether employee representation has a positive effect on gender diversity on boards. We exploit rich, newly assembled board–director matched panel data for Norway and Germany, which contain unique information on whether a director represents shareholders or employees during the period around 2008, when a Norwegian board gender quota came into effect. We present two novel results that challenge previous thinking about the effects of board gender quotas on women directors. First, we find a positive impact of employee representation before the gender quota reform on gender diversity. Second, although the Norwegian gender quota has increased the probability of a director being female, the effect through employee representation has relatively decreased after and the implementation of the reform. We discuss potential mechanisms and implications for the design of co-determination laws and gender quotas.
    Keywords: Affirmative action; employee representation; shared governance; co-determination; women; boards of directors; firm size
    JEL: G30 J16 K30 L21 L25 M54
    Date: 2022–10–31
  7. By: Zoe B. Cullen; Shengwu Li; Ricardo Perez-Truglia
    Abstract: While U.S. legislation prohibits employers from sharing information about their employees’ compensation with each other, companies are still allowed to acquire and use more aggregated data provided by third parties. Most medium and large firms report using this type of data to set salaries, a practice that is known as salary benchmarking. Despite their widespread use across occupations, there is no evidence on the effects of salary benchmarking. We provide a model that explains why firms are interested in salary benchmarking and makes predictions regarding the effects of the tool. Next, we measure the actual effects of these tools using administrative data from one of the leading providers of payroll services and salary benchmarks. The evidence suggests that salary benchmarking has a significant effect on pay setting and in a manner that is consistent with the predictions of the model. Our findings have implications for the study of labor markets and for ongoing policy debates.
    JEL: D83 J31 J38 M52
    Date: 2022–10
  8. By: Caviggioli, Federico; Colombelli, Alessandra; Ravetti, Chiara (University of Turin)
    Abstract: This article examines the role of gender in patent inventors’ collaborations and individual productivity. We study how the time needed by an inventor to eventually become a “star” relates to their portfolio of female and male coinventors, characterised in terms of gender, career seniority and productivity. Our empirical analysis applies different survival models to a sample of almost 100k inventors debuting in 2000 and all their patenting peers, followed over a period of 20 years. We find that being female and having female coinventors is correlated to a longer time to become star and that is not a matter of homopily. Seniority is also correlated to a longer time, while having a star among coinventors to a shorter time, in particular for female inventors. These findings confirm the presence of a relevant gender bias and suggest a potential beneficial mentoring/role model mechanism with stars being a strong catalyst of other stars, especially when among women.
    Date: 2022–10

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.