nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒03‒20
seven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Causal Misperceptions of the Part-Time Pay Gap By Annekatrin Schrenker
  2. Firm Training By Dan A. Black; Lars Skipper; Jeffrey A. Smith; Jeffrey Andrew Smith
  3. Conscientiousness and Labor Market Returns: Evidence from a Field Experiment in West Africa By Mathias Allemand; Martina Kirchberger; Sveta Milusheva; Carol Newman; Brent Roberts; Vincent Thorne
  4. Gender differences in reference letters: Evidence from the Economics job market By Markus Eberhardt; Giovanni Facchini; Valeria Rueda
  5. Advanced Digital Technologies and Investment in Employee Training: Complements or Substitutes? By Brunello, Giorgio; Rückert, Désirée; Weiss, Christoph T.; Wruuck, Patricia
  6. Self-Efficacy and Entrepreneurial Performance of Start-Ups By Marco Caliendo; Alexander S. Kritikos; Daniel Rodriguez; Claudia Stier
  7. The Efficacy of Large-Scale Affirmative Action at Elite Universities By Cecilia Machado; Germán Reyes; Evan Riehl

  1. By: Annekatrin Schrenker
    Abstract: This paper studies if workers infer from correlation about causal effects in the context of the part-time wage penalty. Differences in hourly pay between full-time and part-time workers are strongly driven by worker selection and systematic sorting. Ignoring these selection effects can lead to biased expectations about the consequences of working part-time on wages (’selection neglect bias’). Based on representative survey data from Germany, I document substantial misperceptions of the part-time wage gap. Workers strongly overestimate how much part-time workers in their occupation earn per hour, whereas they are approximately informed of mean full-time wage rates. Consistent with selection neglect, those who perceive large hourly pay differences between full-time and part-time workers also predict large changes in hourly wages when a given worker switches between full-time and part-time employment. Causal analyses using a survey experiment reveal that providing information about the raw part-time pay gap increases expectations about the full-time wage premium by factor 1.7, suggesting that individuals draw causal conclusions from observed correlations. De-biasing respondents by informing them about the influence of worker characteristics on observed pay gaps mitigates selection neglect. Subjective beliefs about the part-time/full-time wage gap are predictive of planned and actual transitions between full-time and part-time employment, necessitating the prevention of causal misperceptions.
    Keywords: part-time pay gap, wage expectations, selection neglect, causal misperceptions
    JEL: J31 D83 D84
    Date: 2023–01–13
  2. By: Dan A. Black; Lars Skipper; Jeffrey A. Smith; Jeffrey Andrew Smith
    Abstract: Workers acquire skills through formal schooling, through training provided by governments, and through training provided by firms. This chapter reviews, synthesizes, and augments the literature on the last of these, which has languished in recent years despite the sizable contribution of firm training to the overall stock of worker human capital. We engage with research on the determinants of receipt of firm training, the effects of firm training on workers outcomes, and various policy debates related to firm training, including training taxes, training subsidies, non-compete agreements, and the minimum wage. Our discussion emphasizes the complex measurement issues associated with firm training and the interplay of applied theory and applied econometrics in the related empirical literature.
    Keywords: training, human capital, firm, worker, classroom, learning by doing, monopsony, minimum wage, training tax, non-compete
    JEL: I20 I24 J24 J42 J31
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Mathias Allemand (University of Zurich); Martina Kirchberger (Trinity College Dublin); Sveta Milusheva (The World Bank); Carol Newman (Trinity College Dublin); Brent Roberts (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Vincent Thorne (Trinity College Dublin)
    Abstract: Non-cognitive skills are increasingly recognized as important determinants of labor market outcomes. To what extent specific skills can be affected in adulthood remains an open question. We conducted a randomized controlled trial with low-skilled employed workers in Senegal where workers were randomly assigned to receive a training intervention designed to affect conscientiousness-related skills. We found that treated workers were significantly more likely to stay in their job and have higher wages nine months after the intervention. Our findings suggest that non-cognitive skills can be affected even later in the life cycle and can have substantial labor market returns.
    Keywords: non-cognitiveskills, labormarkets, conscientiousness
    JEL: J24 M53 O15
    Date: 2023–01
  4. By: Markus Eberhardt; Giovanni Facchini; Valeria Rueda
    Abstract: Academia, and economics in particular, faces increased scrutiny because of gender imbalance. This paper studies the job market for entry-level faculty positions. We employ machine learning methods to analyze gendered patterns in the text of 12, 000 reference letters written in support of over 3, 700 candidates. Using both supervised and unsupervised techniques, we document widespread differences in the attributes emphasized. Women are systematically more likely to be described using ‘grindstone’ terms and at times less likely to be praised for their ability. Using information on initial placement we highlight the mplications of these gendered descriptors for the quality of academic placement.
    Keywords: gender; natural language processing; diversity
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Brunello, Giorgio (University of Padova); Rückert, Désirée (European Investment Bank); Weiss, Christoph T. (European Investment Bank); Wruuck, Patricia (European Investment Bank)
    Abstract: Using firm-level data covering the 27 EU countries, the UK and the US, we show that employers tend to reduce investment in training per employee after adopting advanced digital technologies (ADT). We estimate with a control function approach firm-level production functions augmented with two factors, the training stock per employee and digital technology use. We show that ADT use and employee training are substitutes in production, implying that an increase in the former negatively affects the marginal productivity of the latter, and that a decline in the cost of introducing ADT reduces employers' investment in training per employee. These findings point to challenges in realizing high levels of firm-sponsored training for employees in increasingly digital economies.
    Keywords: digitization, automation, training, productivity
    JEL: D24 J24
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Marco Caliendo; Alexander S. Kritikos; Daniel Rodriguez; Claudia Stier
    Abstract: Self-efficacy reflects the self-belief that one can persistently perform difficult and novel tasks while coping with adversity. As such beliefs reflect how individuals behave, think, and act, they are key for successful entrepreneurial activities. While existing literature mainly analyzes the influence of the task-related construct of entrepreneurial self-efficacy, we take a different perspective and investigate, based on a representative sample of 1, 405 German business founders, how the personality characteristic of generalized self-efficacy influences start-up performance as measured by a broad set of business outcomes up to 19 months after business creation. Outcomes include start-up survival and entrepreneurial income, as well as growthoriented outcomes such as job creation and innovation. We find statistically significant and economically important positive effects of high scores of self-efficacy on start-up survival and entrepreneurial income, which become even stronger when focusing on the growth-oriented outcome of innovation. Furthermore, we observe that generalized self-efficacy is similarly distributed between female and male business founders, with effects being partly stronger for female entrepreneurs. Our findings are important for policy instruments that are meant to support _rm growth by facilitating the design of more target-oriented offers for training, coaching, and entrepreneurial incubators.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, firm performance, general self-efficacy, survival, job creation, innovation
    JEL: L26 M13 D91
    Date: 2023
  7. By: Cecilia Machado (Graduate School of Economics, Getúlio Vargas Foundation); Germán Reyes (Department of Economics, Cornell University); Evan Riehl (Department of Economics and ILR School, Cornell University)
    Abstract: We study the effects of affirmative action at an elite Brazilian university that adopted race- and income-based quotas for 45 percent of its admission slots. We link admission records to national employer-employee data to examine how the policy affected the careers of both its targeted beneficiaries and the university’s other students. For students admitted through affirmative action, the policy led to a modest increase in early-career earnings that faded as their careers progressed. Conversely, the adoption of affirmative action caused a large and persistent decrease in earnings for the university’s most highly ranked students. We present evidence that these negative earnings effects are driven by a reduction in human capital accumulation and a decline in the value of networking.
    JEL: I26 J24 J31
    Date: 2023–03

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