nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒03‒13
two papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Unions as Insurance: Employer–Worker Risk Sharing and Workers' Outcomes during COVID-19 By Braakmann, Nils; Hirsch, Boris
  2. How many jobs can be done at home? Not as many as you think! By Crescenzi, Riccardo; Giua, Mara; Rigo, Davide

  1. By: Braakmann, Nils (Newcastle University); Hirsch, Boris (Leuphana University Lüneburg)
    Abstract: We investigate to what extent workplace unionisation protects workers from external shocks as predicted by models of implicit contracts. Using the COVID-19 pandemic as a plausibly exogenous shock hitting the whole economy, we compare workers who worked in unionised and non-unionised workplaces directly before the pandemic in a difference-in-differences framework. We find that unionised workers were substantially more like to remain working for their pre-COVID employer, at their pre-COVID workplace, in their pre-COVID job and to be in employment. This greater employment stability was not traded off against lower working hours or labour income.
    Keywords: unions, risk-sharing, implicit contracts, insurance effects, COVID-19
    JEL: J51 I18 I19 J63
    Date: 2023–01
  2. By: Crescenzi, Riccardo; Giua, Mara; Rigo, Davide
    Abstract: COVID-19 has dramatically accelerated the uptake of work-from-home (WFH) practices worldwide. However, there is no consensus on the importance of this phenomenon for workers and firms. Unique administrative data on the universe of Italian workers make it possible to assess for the first time the actual diffusion of WFH across sectors, regions and rms. Our data show that 12% of workers have in fact worked from home at the peak of the pandemic in 2020, suggesting that existing studies overestimate the share of jobs that can be undertaken remotely by at least 50%. We also provide suggestive evidence that existing studies are unable to account for technological and cultural barriers that in practice prevent firms and workers from adopting WFH practices.
    Keywords: work-from-home; remote work; teleworking; Covid-19; coronavirus
    JEL: R14 J01
    Date: 2022–11–01

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