nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒05‒15
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Employers' Demand for Personality Traits By Brenčič, Vera; McGee, Andrew
  2. Non-compete agreements in a rigid labour market: The case of Italy By Tito Boeri; Andrea Garnero; Lorenzo G. Luisetto
  3. Skill Depreciation during Unemployment: Evidence from Panel Data By Jonathan P. Cohen; Andrew C. Johnston; Attila S. Lindner
  4. The Pandemic Push: Digital Technologies and Workforce Adjustments By Gathmann, Christina; Kagerl, Christian; Pohlan, Laura; Roth, Duncan
  5. Propensity to work remotely in the Bank of Italy: a behavioural analysis By Michele Mariani; Livia Ristuccia; Pasqualino Montanaro
  6. Technological and Organizational Change and the Careers of Workers By Michele Battisti; Christian Dustmann; Uta Schoenberg
  7. Biased Expectations and Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from German Survey Data and Implications for the East-West Wage Gap By Almut Balleer; Georg Duernecker; Susanne Forstner; Johannes Goensch
  8. Locus of Control and the Preference for Agency By Caliendo, Marco; Cobb-Clark, Deborah A.; Silva Goncalves, Juliana; Uhlendorff, Arne

  1. By: Brenčič, Vera (University of Alberta); McGee, Andrew (University of Alberta)
    Abstract: We measure firms' demand for workers' personality traits expressed in job ads and find that firms primarily demand workers who are extroverted, conscientious, and open-to-experience. The personality demand measures are correlated with the soft skills required on the job and produce intuitively plausible rankings of occupations in terms of personality requirements. Consistent with firms needing more time to fill vacancies with more requirements, ads requiring extroversion and conscientiousness remain posted online longer. Using the personality demand measures and wage information in the ads, we show theoretically and empirically that firms seeking conscientious workers are less likely to offer incentive pay.
    Keywords: personality, job ads, method of pay
    JEL: D22 J23 J24 J33 M51
    Date: 2023–04
  2. By: Tito Boeri; Andrea Garnero; Lorenzo G. Luisetto
    Abstract: Non-compete clauses (NCCs) limiting the mobility of workers have been found to be rather widespread in the US, a flexible labour market with large turnover rates and a limited coverage of collective bargaining. This paper explores the presence of such arrangements in a rigid labour market, with strict employment protection regulations by OECD standards and where all employees are, at least on paper, subject to collective bargaining. Based on a representative survey of employees in the private sector, an exam of collective agreements and case law, we find that in Italy i) collective agreements play no role in regulating the use of NCCs while the law specifies only the formal requirements, ii) about 16% of private sector employees are currently bound by a NCC, iii) NCCs are relatively frequent among low educated employees in manual and elementary low paid occupations having no access to any type of confidential information, and iv) in addition to NCCs, a number of other arrangements limit the post-employment activity of workers. Many of the NCCs do not comply with the minimum requirements established by law and yet workers do not consider them as unenforceable and appear to behave as they were effective. Even when NCCs are unenforceable they appear to negatively affect wages when they are introduced without changing the tasks of the workers involved. Normative implications are discussed in the last section of the paper.
    Keywords: non-compete clauses, monopsony, labour market concentration, employment, wages
    Date: 2023–04–03
  3. By: Jonathan P. Cohen; Andrew C. Johnston; Attila S. Lindner
    Abstract: We use a panel of survey responses linked to administrative data in Germany to measure the depreciation of skills while workers are unemployed. Both the reemployment hazard rate and reemployment earnings steadily fall with unemployment duration, and indicators of depression and loneliness rise substantially. Despite this, we find no decline in a wide range of cognitive and noncognitive skills while workers remain unemployed. We find the same pattern in a panel of American workers. The results imply that skill depreciation in general human capital is unlikely to be a major explanation for duration dependence.
    JEL: I32 J24 J6 J60 J64
    Date: 2023–04
  4. By: Gathmann, Christina (LISER); Kagerl, Christian (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Pohlan, Laura (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Roth, Duncan (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg)
    Abstract: Based on a unique survey and administrative employer-employee data, we show that the COVID-19 pandemic acted as a push factor for the diffusion of digital technologies in Germany. About two in three firms invested in digital technologies, in particular in hardware and software to enable decentralized communication, management and coordination. The investments encouraged additional firm-sponsored training despite pandemic-related restrictions indicating that investments in digital technologies and training are complements. We then demonstrate that the additional investments helped firms to insure workers against the downturn during the pandemic. Firms that made additional investments relied less on short-time work, had more of their regular employees working normal hours and had to lay off fewer marginal workers. Male, younger and medium-skilled workers benefitted the most from the insurance effect of digital investments.
    Keywords: innovation, digital technologies, COVID-19, pandemic, investment, training, employment, worker flows
    JEL: D22 E22 J23 J63
    Date: 2023–04
  5. By: Michele Mariani (Bank of Italy); Livia Ristuccia (Bank of Italy); Pasqualino Montanaro (Bank of Italy)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the propensity to work remotely of the Bank of Italy's employees. The main innovation compared with other studies is that the propensity is derived from individual administrative data instead of survey-based data, which are affected by selection bias problems. Furthermore, the use of individual administrative data makes it possible to analyse organizational and managerial issues that are difficult to investigate otherwise. Employees facing longer commuting times, those with children and those in the younger age groups have a higher propensity to work remotely, confirming that remote working (RW) is an important pull factor for new workers. No significant gender differences were observed. Bosses’ propensity to work remotely affects the behaviour of their colleagues. In the onboarding period, new hires tend to work remotely less than their more established colleagues, but they rapidly align their behaviour with that of the other workers. The choices of the more established colleagues are not affected by the onboarding needs.
    Keywords: remote working, individual preferences, willingness to pay
    JEL: J22 J28 D13 H83 M54
    Date: 2023–04
  6. By: Michele Battisti (Adam Smith Business School, University of Glasgow); Christian Dustmann (University College London); Uta Schoenberg (University College London)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the effects of technological and organizational change (T&O) on jobs and workers. We show that although T&O reduces firm demand for routine relative to abstract task-based jobs, affected workers do not face higher probability of nonemployment or lower earnings growth than unaffected workers. Rather, firms that adopt T&O offer routine workers re-training opportunities to upgrade to more abstract jobs. Older workers form an important exception: T&O increases the risk that they permanently withdraw from the labor market and reduces their earnings, regardless of the tasks they performed in the firm prior to T&O.
    Date: 2022–11
  7. By: Almut Balleer; Georg Duernecker; Susanne Forstner; Johannes Goensch
    Abstract: We measure individual bias in labor market expectations in German survey data and find that workers on average significantly overestimate their individual probabilities to separate from their job when employed as well to find a job when unemployed. These biases vary significantly between population groups. Most notably, East Germans are significantly more pessimistic than West Germans. We find a significantly negative relationship between the pessimistic bias in job separation expectations and wages, and a significantly positive relationship between optimistic bias in job finding expectations and reservation incomes. We interpret and quantify the effects of (such) expectation biases on the labor market equilibrium in a search and matching model of the labor market. Removing the biases could substantially increase wages and expected lifetime income in East Germany. The bias difference in labor market expectations explains part of the East-West German wage gap.
    Keywords: labor market risk, biased beliefs, wages, reservation wages
    JEL: E24 J31 D84
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Caliendo, Marco (University of Potsdam); Cobb-Clark, Deborah A. (University of Sydney); Silva Goncalves, Juliana (University of Sydney); Uhlendorff, Arne (CREST)
    Abstract: We conduct a laboratory experiment to study how locus of control operates through people's preferences and beliefs to influence their decisions. Using the principal-agent setting of the delegation game, we test four key channels that conceptually link locus of control to decision- making: (i) preference for agency; (ii) optimism and (iii) confidence regarding the return to effort; and (iv) illusion of control. Knowing the return and cost of stated effort, principals either retain or delegate the right to make an investment decision that generates payoffs for themselves and their agents. Extending the game to the context in which the return to stated effort is unknown allows us to explicitly study the relationship between locus of control and beliefs about the return to effort. We find that internal locus of control is linked to the preference for agency, an effect that is driven by women. We find no evidence that locus of control influences optimism and confidence about the return to stated effort, or that it operates through an illusion of control.
    Keywords: locus of control, preference for agency, decision-making, beliefs, optimism, confidence, illusion of control
    JEL: D83 D87 D91
    Date: 2023–04

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