nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒03‒27
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Keep Calm and Carry On: The Short- vs. Long-Run Effects of Mindfulness Meditation on (Academic) Performance By Lea Cassar; Mira Fischer; Vanessa Valero
  2. Overconfidence and Gender Equality in the Labor Market By Spencer Bastani; Thomas Giebe; Oliver Gürtler
  3. Robots and Workers: Evidence from the Netherlands By Daron Acemoglu; Hans R. A. Koster; Ceren Ozgen
  4. Parental Leave, Worker Substitutability, and Firms' Employment By Mathias Huebener; Jonas Jessen; Daniel Kuehnle; Michael Oberfichtner
  5. Relational Contracts: Recent Empirical Advancements and Open Questions By Rocco Macchiavello; Ameet Morjaria
  6. Works Councils as Gatekeepers: Codetermination, Monitoring Practices, and Job Satisfaction By Grund, Christian; Sliwka, Dirk; Titz, Krystina
  7. Retrieving the Returns to Experience, Tenure, and Job Mobility from Work Histories By Addison, John T.; Portugal, Pedro; Raposo, Pedro
  8. Gender differences in job mobility and pay progression in the UK By Harkness, Susan; Popova, Daria; Avram, Silvia

  1. By: Lea Cassar; Mira Fischer; Vanessa Valero
    Abstract: Mindfulness-based meditation practices are becoming increasingly popular in Western societies, including in the business world and in education. While the scientific literature has largely documented the benefits of mindfulness meditation for mental health, little is still known about potential spillovers of these practices on other important life outcomes, such as performance. We address this question through a field experiment in an educational setting. We study the causal impact of mindfulness meditation on academic performance through a randomized evaluation of a well-known 8-week mindfulness meditation training delivered to university students on campus. As expected, the intervention improves students’ mental health and non-cognitive skills. However, it takes time before students' performance can benefit from mindfulness meditation: we find that, if anything, the intervention marginally decreases average grades in the short run, i.e., during the exam period right after the end of the intervention, whereas it significantly increases academic performance, by about 0.4 standard deviations, in the long run (ca. 6 months after the end of intervention). We investigate the underlying mechanisms and discuss the implications of our results.
    Keywords: performance, mental health, education, meditation, field experiment
    JEL: I21 C93 I12 I31
    Date: 2022–11–18
  2. By: Spencer Bastani (Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy (IFAU); Research Institute for Industrial Economics (IFN); Uppsala Center for Fiscal Studies; Uppsala Center for Labor Studies; CESIfo); Thomas Giebe (Department of Economics and Statistics, School of Business and Economics, Linnaeus University, Sweden.); Oliver Gürtler (University of Cologne, Germany)
    Abstract: "Using a promotion signaling model in which wages are realistically shaped by market forces, we analyze how male overconfidence combined with competitive workplace incentives affects gender equality in the labor market. Our main result is that overconfident workers exert more effort to be promoted, which translates into a higher probability of promotion and superior wage growth. Interestingly, workers who are not overconfident have higher expected ability conditional on promotion than overconfident workers. However, overconfident workers accumulate more human capital through learning-by-doing and therefore have higher expected productivity. Because overconfident workers compete fiercely, they incur higher effort costs and discourage their colleagues, and we find that overconfidence can be either self-serving or self-defeating for the overconfident worker. "
    Keywords: overconfidence, promotion, competition, gender gap, tournament, theory
    JEL: C72 D91 J16 J24 M51 M52
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Daron Acemoglu; Hans R. A. Koster; Ceren Ozgen
    Abstract: We estimate the effects of robot adoption on firm-level and worker-level outcomes in the Netherlands using a large employer-employee panel dataset spanning 2009-2020. Our firm-level results confirm previous findings, with positive effects on value added and hours worked for robot-adopting firms and negative outcomes on competitors in the same industry. Our worker-level results show that directly-affected workers (e.g., blue-collar workers performing routine or replaceable tasks) face lower earnings and employment rates, while other workers indirectly gain from robot adoption. We also find that the negative effects from competitors' robot adoption load on directly-affected workers, while other workers benefit from this industry-level robot adoption. Overall, our results highlight the uneven effects of automation on the workforce.
    JEL: D63 E22 E23 E24 J24 O33
    Date: 2023–03
  4. By: Mathias Huebener; Jonas Jessen; Daniel Kuehnle; Michael Oberfichtner
    Abstract: Motherhood and parental leave are frequent causes of worker absences and employment interruptions, yet we know little about their effects on firms. Based on linked employer-employee data from Germany, we examine how more generous leave benefits affect firm-level employment and hiring decisions. Focusing on small- and medium-sized firms, we show that more generous benefits reduce firm-level employment in the short term, which is driven by firms with few internal substitutes for the absent mother. However, firms do not respond to longer expected absences by hiring fewer young women, even when few internal substitutes are available. To rationalise the findings, we show that replacement hiring occurs largely before the expected absence and that firms hire more external replacements when fewer internal substitutes are available. These findings indicate that extended leave does not harm _rms when these can plan for the longer worker absences.
    Keywords: Parental leave, worker absences, worker substitutability
    JEL: J16 J18 J24
    Date: 2022–12–13
  5. By: Rocco Macchiavello; Ameet Morjaria
    Abstract: Relational contracts - informal self-enforcing agreements sustained by repeated interactions - are ubiquitous both within and across organizational boundaries. This review highlights recent empirical contributions in selected areas. We begin by reviewing some recent work that explicitly takes the dynamic incentive compatibility constraints that underpin relational contract models to the data. We then discuss the relationship between relational contracting and firms' performance. We conclude pointing in directions that we consider to be particularly ripe for future work.
    JEL: D86 F14 L14 O19
    Date: 2023–02
  6. By: Grund, Christian (RWTH Aachen University); Sliwka, Dirk (University of Cologne); Titz, Krystina (RWTH Aachen University)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the role of works councils as gatekeepers safeguarding employee's interests in the adoption of monitoring practices. We first introduce a formal model predicting that (i) the introduction of monitoring practices leads to a stronger increase (or weaker decrease) in job satisfaction when a works council is in place, (ii) that this effect should be larger the lower the prior level of employee participation and (iii) that works councils increase the likelihood of the implementation of monitoring practices at the level of individual employees. We provide evidence in line with these hypotheses using linked-employer-employee panel data from Germany. We indeed find that the adoption of formal performance appraisals and feedback interviews is associated with a significantly larger increase in job satisfaction when there is a works council. This pattern is driven by establishments without collective bargaining agreements. The evidence also suggests that works councils indeed facilitate the implementation of monitoring practices, as codetermined firms have a higher likelihood that a practice implemented on the firm level is actually applied by middle management.
    Keywords: works councils, codetermination, performance appraisal, feedback interview, job satisfaction, linked employer-employee data
    JEL: M5 J83 J28
    Date: 2023–02
  7. By: Addison, John T. (Durham University Business School); Portugal, Pedro (Banco de Portugal); Raposo, Pedro (Universidade Catolica Portuguesa, Lisbon)
    Abstract: Using a unique Portuguese linked employer-employee dataset, this paper offers an extension of the standard Mincerian model of wage determination by allowing for different returns to experience and tenure over the sequence of jobs that constitute a career. We also consider the possibility of distinct wage hikes each time workers change jobs, where such uplifts reflect the returns to job search investments over the life cycle and shape the curvature of the earnings profile. We further investigate how worker, firm, and job match heterogeneity influence the returns to mobility, experience, and tenure. The returns to job mobility are found to reflect sorting into better job matches. Moreover, the estimated returns to experience are upwardly biased because more productive workers tend to be more experienced.
    Keywords: returns to tenure, returns to experience, job mobility, high-dimensional fixed effects, job match fixed effect, job match quality effect
    JEL: J31 J63
    Date: 2023–02
  8. By: Harkness, Susan; Popova, Daria; Avram, Silvia
    Abstract: Understanding disparities in the rates at which men and women’s wages grow over the life course is critical to explaining the gender pay gap. Using panel data from 2009 to 2019 for the United Kingdom, we examine how differences in the rates and types of job mobility of men and women – with and without children - influence the evolution of wages. We contrast the rates and wage returns associated with different types of job moves, including moving employer for family reason, moving for wage or career-related reasons, and changing jobs but remaining with the same employer. Despite overall levels of mobility being similar for men and women, we find important differences in the types of mobility they experience, with mothers most likely to switch employers for family related reasons and least likely to move for wage or career reasons, or to change jobs with the same employer. We find that, while job changes with the same employer and career related employer changes have large positive wage returns, changing employers for family related reasons is associated with significant wage losses. Our findings show that differences in the types of mobility experienced by mothers compared to other workers provide an important part of the explanation for their lower wage growth and play a crucial role in explaining the emergence of the motherhood wage gap in the years after birth.
    Date: 2023–03–07

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.