nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒01‒02
seven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Gender Diversity, Gender in the Boardroom and Gender Quotas By Astrid Kunze; Katrin Scharfenkamp
  2. Employee Evaluation and Skill Investments: Evidence from Public School Teachers By Eric S. Taylor
  3. Does Pay Inequality Affect Worker Effort? An Assessment of Existing Laboratory Designs By Marco Fongoni
  4. Organizational dynamics: culture, design, and performance By Besley, Timothy; Persson, Torsten
  5. Better to be in the same boat: Positional envy in the workplace By Distefano, Rosaria
  6. Peers and stars: the role of gender among coinventors. By Caviggioli, Federico; Colombelli, Alessandra; Ravetti, Chiara
  7. How Much Do Workers Actually Value Working from Home? By Markus Nagler; Johannes Rincke; Erwin Winkler

  1. By: Astrid Kunze; Katrin Scharfenkamp
    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 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
  2. By: Eric S. Taylor
    Abstract: When an employee expects repeated evaluation and performance incentives over time, the potential future rewards create an incentive to invest in building relevant skills. Because new skills benefit job performance, the effects of an evaluation program can persist after the rewards end or even anticipate the start of rewards. I test for persistence and anticipation effects, along with more conventional predictions, using a quasi-experiment in Tennessee schools. Performance improves with new evaluation measures, but gains are larger when the teacher expects future rewards linked to future scores. Performance rises further when incentives start and remains higher even after incentives end.
    JEL: I21 J24 J45 M5
    Date: 2022–11
  3. By: Marco Fongoni (Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS, AMSE, Marseille, France.)
    Abstract: This paper develops a theoretical framework to think about employees' effort choices, and applies this framework to assess the ability of existing laboratory designs to identify the effect of pay inequality on worker effort. The analysis shows that failure to control for a number of confounds-such as reciprocity towards the employer in multilateral gift-exchange games (vertical fairness), or the incentive to increase effort when feeling underpaid under piece rates (income targeting)-may lead to inaccurate interpretation of evidence of treatment effects. In light of these findings, the paper provides a set of recommendations on how to improve identification in the design of laboratory experiments in the future.
    Keywords: pay inequality; effort; laboratory experiments; reference dependence; fairness
    JEL: C91 D91 J31 J33 M52
    Date: 2022–12
  4. By: Besley, Timothy; Persson, Torsten
    Abstract: We examine the two-way interplay between organizational cultures and organizational design, where culture is modeled as the prevailing social identities among workplace groups that can affect project choices. In a setting where cultural dynamics depend on the expected relative payoffs of holding different identities, we investigate how tribalism and charismatic leadership shape organizational dynamics and steady-state cultures. We show how a strong culture can be a virtue when it permits greater delegated authority, but a vice when the culture is poorly aligned with organizational objectives. We apply our analysis to concrete debates about the interaction of design, performance, and culture.
    Keywords: project ECOSOCPOL
    JEL: L23 M14
    Date: 2022–10–28
  5. By: Distefano, Rosaria
    Abstract: In a simple agency model of the labor market, we examine how fairness concerns affect the structure of optimal contracts when workers have different and unobservable abilities. In the framework, we assume that low-ability workers are envious and incur a utility cost whenever the more talented earn a surplus from their contracts. We focus on the equilibrium payoff of the envied and show that, when the ability gap is relatively small, it is first increasing and then decreasing in the level of envy cost borne by the envious. In contrast, when the gap is large, the payoff is monotonically decreasing. We also find that the utility loss of the envious is higher the lower the skill heterogeneity between types. Finally, we validate our theoretical results through GSOEP data.
    Keywords: asymmetric information; envy; fairness; other-regarding preferences; principal-agent model.
    JEL: D03 D82 M54
    Date: 2022–06–18
  6. 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
  7. By: Markus Nagler; Johannes Rincke; Erwin Winkler
    Abstract: Working from home (WFH) has become ubiquitous around the world. We ask how much workers actually value this job attribute. Using a stated-preference experiment, we show that German employees are willing to give up 7.7% of their earnings for WFH, but they value other job attributes more. For instance, the willingness-to-pay is 13.2% for reducing a commute of 45 to 15 minutes. WFH valuations are heterogeneous across workers and WFH substantially contributes to compensation inequality across education levels. Finally, valuations meaningfully interact with commuting distance and WFH reduces (but does not close) the gender gap in willingness-to-pay to avoid commuting.
    Keywords: working from home, working conditions, inequality, commuting, compensating wage differentials
    JEL: J20 J31 J33 J81
    Date: 2022

This nep-hrm issue is ©2023 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.