nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2022‒11‒28
ten papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. 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
  2. Performance feedback and job search behavior: Empirical evidence from linked employer-employee data By Pohlan, Laura; Steffes, Susanne
  3. Technical change, task allocation, and labor unions By Marczak, Martyna; Beissinger, Thomas; Brall, Franziska
  4. Financial Incentives and Performance: A Meta-Analysis of Economics Evidence By Cala, Petr; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Matousek, Jindrich; Novak, Jiri
  5. Remote Work and Team Productivity By Dutcher, Glenn; Saral, Krista
  6. Coordinated Firm-Level Work Processes and Macroeconomic Resilience By Moritz Kuhn; Jinfeng Luo; Iourii Manovskii; Xincheng Qiu
  7. Firm Consolidation and Labor Market Outcomes By Sabien Dobbelaere; Grace McCormack; Daniel Prinz; Sándor Sóvágó
  8. Empirical Evaluation of Broader Job Search Requirements for Unemployed Workers By Bas van der Klaauw; Heike Vethaak
  9. AI, Skill, and Productivity: The Case of Taxi Drivers By Kyogo Kanazawa; Daiji Kawaguchi; Hitoshi Shigeoka; Yasutora Watanabe
  10. Lifting Women Up: Gender Quotas and the Advancement of Women on Corporate Boards By Alexandra Fedorets; Anna Gibert

  1. 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.
    Keywords: prosocial behavior, motivation, public service, employee, intermediaries, field experiments, feedback, organ donation
    JEL: C93 D90 I10 J45 M50
    Date: 2022
  2. By: Pohlan, Laura; Steffes, Susanne
    Abstract: In this paper, we study whether performance feedback can serve as an instrument for firms to increase employee retention. Feedback on the relative performance may affect individual job search behavior differently depending on workers' relative rank among their peers. In line with these considerations, empirical evidence based on panel employer-employee data shows that employees performing below the median decrease their turnover intentions after the implementation of a performance feedback system at the establishment level. We find no effect for employees performing above the median.
    Keywords: quit behavior,performance feedback,internal labor markets,linked employer-employee data
    JEL: M51 M54 J63 C23
    Date: 2022
  3. By: Marczak, Martyna; Beissinger, Thomas; Brall, Franziska
    Abstract: We propose a novel framework that integrates the "task approach" for a more precise production modeling into the search-and-matching model with low- and high-skilled workers, and wage setting by labor unions. We establish the relationship between task reallocation and changes in wage pressure, and examine how skill-biased technical change (SBTC) affects the task composition, wages of both skill groups, and unemployment. In contrast to the canonical model with a fixed task allocation, low-skilled workers may be harmed in terms of either lower wages or higher unemployment depending on the relative task-related productivity profile of both worker types. We calibrate the model to the US and German data for the periods 1995-2005 and 2010-2017. The simulated effects of SBTC on low-skilled unemployment are largely consistent with observed developments. For example, US low-skilled unemployment increases due to SBTC in the earlier period and decreases after 2010.
    Keywords: ask approach,search and matching,labor unions,skill-biased technicalchange,labor demand,wage setting
    JEL: J64 J51 E23 E24 O33
    Date: 2022
  4. By: Cala, Petr; Havranek, Tomas; Irsova, Zuzana; Matousek, Jindrich; Novak, Jiri
    Abstract: Standard economics models require that financial incentives improve performance, while leading theories in psychology allow for the opposite. Experimental results are mixed, and so far have not been corrected for publication bias and model uncertainty. We collect 1,568 economics estimates together with 46 factors capturing the context in which the estimates were obtained. We use novel nonlinear techniques to correct for publication bias and employ Bayesian model averaging to account for model uncertainty. The corrected estimates are zero or tiny across contexts of field experiments, including differences in performance measurement, task definition, reward size and framing, motivation beyond money, subject pool, and estimation technique. Laboratory experiments produce statistically significant estimates on average after correction for publication bias, but even there the effect is weak. Experimental economics evidence is inconsistent with standard economics models.
    Keywords: Incentives,experiments,meta-analysis,model uncertainty,publication bias
    JEL: C90 D91 M52
    Date: 2022
  5. By: Dutcher, Glenn; Saral, Krista
    Abstract: Remote work policies remain controversial mainly because of productivity concerns. The existing literature highlights how the remote setting affects individual productivity yet little is known about how the remote setting affects work in teams - where productivity losses are potentially higher given the additional role of beliefs over partner productivity. Our study closes this gap by examining the effort of individuals randomly assigned to work in either a remote or office setting with partners who are remote and office based. We find that remote workers contribute more effort to the team than office workers, with no differences based on the location of their partners. Office workers incorrectly believe their remote teammates' contributions will be lower and respond by contributing less effort to the team when paired with remote partners versus office partners. Hence, productivity issues in remote teams are driven by the biased beliefs of office workers rather than true productivity differences, which suggests that managerial policies should focus on correcting these incorrect beliefs rather than limiting remote work.
    Keywords: Telecommuting, Remote Work, Team Production, Productivity, Economic Experiments
    JEL: C7 C9 J0
    Date: 2022–11–02
  6. By: Moritz Kuhn (University of Bonn, Department of Economics); Jinfeng Luo (University of Bonn, Department of Economics); Iourii Manovskii (University of Pennsylvania, Department of Economics); Xincheng Qiu (University of Pennsylvania, Department of Economics)
    Abstract: The production processes at many firms rely on a highly choreographed and interdependent network of workers performing specialized jobs. We designed and implemented a targeted employer survey to measure the extent of coordination in work processes. We link this firm-level coordination measure to administrative data and find that firms with a more coordinated work process are more productive, pay higher wages, and experience lower worker turnover. Yet, these firms suffer more severe negative consequences from worker absences and adopt various strategies to mitigate such risk, the reliance on which we document. While the standard unemployment insurance policy pays benefits to workers who lose their jobs, the short-time work policy widely adopted in Germany compensates workers who remain employed with reduced hours for the associated loss of earnings. This policy can benefit employers with a more coordinated production process because they can lower the scale of production by reducing hours while keeping all workers needed for the production process employed, increasing the resilience of these employers to large idiosyncratic and aggregate shocks.
    Keywords: Labor markets, Coordination, Economic resilience, Work process, Covid-19
    JEL: E23 E24 J24 J65
    Date: 2022–11
  7. By: Sabien Dobbelaere (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Grace McCormack (University of Southern California); Daniel Prinz (World Bank); Sándor Sóvágó (University of Groningen)
    Abstract: Using rich administrative data from the Netherlands, we study the consequences of firm consolidation for workers. For workers at acquired firms, takeovers are associated with a 8.5% drop in employment at the consolidated firm and a 2.6% drop in total labor income. These effects are persistent even four years later. We show that the primary mechanism for this job loss is labor restructuring at consolidating firms. Specifically, workers with higher-than-expected pay relative to their human capital and workers with skills that are likely already present at acquirers are less likely to be retained.
    Keywords: Takeovers, labor market outcomes, labor restructuring
    JEL: G34 J2 J3 M51
    Date: 2022–11–13
  8. By: Bas van der Klaauw (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam); Heike Vethaak (Leiden University)
    Abstract: This paper analyses data from a large-scale field experiment where unemployed workers were randomly assigned to an additional caseworker meeting with the purpose to impose a broader job search strategy. We find that the meeting significantly increases job finding and is cost effective. However, caseworkers differ substantially in the rate at which they impose broader job search. We exploit this heterogeneity in caseworker stringency and the random assignment of unemployed workers to caseworkers within local offices to evaluate the broader search requirement. Our results show that imposing the broader search requirements reduces job finding. We argue that restricting the job search opportunities forces unemployed workers to search sub-optimally which negatively affects labor market outcomes.
    Keywords: Unemployment, broader job search, caseworker stringency, caseworker meetings, field experiment
    JEL: J22 J64 J65 J68 C93
    Date: 2022–11–13
  9. By: Kyogo Kanazawa; Daiji Kawaguchi; Hitoshi Shigeoka; Yasutora Watanabe
    Abstract: We examine the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on productivity in the context of taxi drivers. The AI we study assists drivers with finding customers by suggesting routes along which the demand is predicted to be high. We find that AI improves drivers’ productivity by shortening the cruising time, and such gain is accrued only to low-skilled drivers, narrowing the productivity gap between high- and low-skilled drivers by 14%. The result indicates that AI's impact on human labor is more nuanced and complex than a job displacement story, which was the primary focus of existing studies.
    JEL: J22 J24 L92 R41
    Date: 2022–10
  10. By: Alexandra Fedorets; Anna Gibert
    Abstract: The introduction of gender quotas on corporate boards may be a shock to the status-quo that produces externalities to the advancement of women in the company. In this paper, we investigate whether boardroom quotas contribute to lift more women further up the corporate ladder and to a wider range of positions. We use a legislative change in Germany as a natural experiment. Quotas increase female representation on the affected board but may have a negative impact on executive careers for women. They also fail short of eliminating the glass ceiling and do not level the playfield across women insiders and outsiders. Quotas can not be tasked with achieving gender equality in corporations on their own.
    Keywords: gender quota, boards of directors, Corporate Governance, female leadership
    JEL: J16 G32 G34 M14
    Date: 2022–11

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.