nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒07‒17
eleven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter
Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The Career Effects of Union Membership By Samuel Dodini; Kjell G. Salvanes; Alexander Willén; Li Zhu; Alexander L.P. Willén
  2. Variable Payment Schemes and Productivity: Do Individual-Based Schemes Really Have a Stronger Influence Than Collective Ones? By Jirjahn, Uwe; Mohrenweiser, Jens
  3. Incentive Pay and Social Returns to Worker Effort in Public Programs: Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program By Peter Christensen; Paul Francisco; Erica Myers
  4. Gender differences in job mobility and pay progression in the UK By Harkness, Susan; Popova, Daria; Avram, Silvia
  5. On the Allocation and Impacts of Managerial Training By Achyuta Adhvaryu; Emir Murathanoglu; Anant Nyshadham
  6. Firm Investments in Artificial Intelligence Technologies and Changes in Workforce Composition By Tania Babina; Anastassia Fedyk; Alex X. He; James Hodson
  7. Stephen versus Stephanie? Does Gender Matter for Peer-to-Peer Career Advice By Lordan, Grace; Lekfuangfu, Warn N.
  8. Job Value: New Measure of Career Success Potential from a Job By Kenta Kojima; Katsuya Takii
  9. Do Gender-Neutral Job Ads Promote Diversity? Experimental Evidence from Latin America’s Tech Sector By Lucia Del Carpio; Thomas Fujiwara
  10. Disability, Gender and Hiring Discrimination: A Field Experiment By Bjørnshagen, Vegar; Rooth, Dan-Olof; Ugreninov, Elisabeth
  11. Job Levels and Wages By Bayer, Christian; Kuhn, Moritz

  1. By: Samuel Dodini; Kjell G. Salvanes; Alexander Willén; Li Zhu; Alexander L.P. Willén
    Abstract: We combine exogenous variation in union membership with detailed administrative data and a novel field survey to estimate the career effects of labor union membership. In the survey, we show how workers perceive the role of unions in setting wages and determining work amenities. In the administrative data, we causally examine through which channels unions influence worker outcomes, whether unions influence workers differently across their careers, and what the overall long-run effects of individual union membership are. Our results highlight that the career effect of union membership differs greatly depending on the age at which workers enroll. In addition, we show that focusing on a restricted set of outcomes, such as wages and employment, generates a fractionalized understanding of the multidimensional career effect that union membership has on workers.
    Keywords: unions, wage premiums, job protection, work environment
    JEL: J51 J31 J32 J16 J63 J65 J81
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Jirjahn, Uwe; Mohrenweiser, Jens
    Abstract: While studies on individual-based and collective payment schemes are largely unconnected, there appears to be a widely held belief that individual-based schemes have a stronger influence on firm performance than collective ones. This also applies to an index of best management practices developed by Bloom and Van Reenen (2007). The index assigns the highest weight to individual-based performance pay, a medium weight to group-based performance pay and a low weight to profit sharing. This weighting is obviously driven by the implicit assumption that collective payment schemes suffer from a free-rider problem so they have a less strong influence on productivity than individual-based schemes. We show that this assumption is questionable from both a theoretical and an empirical point of view. Using the German Management and Organizational Practices Survey, one of the datasets initiated by Bloom and Van Reenen, we show that individual-based performance pay does not outperform group-based performance pay or profit sharing. The finding also holds when accounting for possible interactions among the payment schemes and considering the moderating roles of firm size, employee representation, and innovativeness. Our results suggest that researchers should be careful with respect to the assumptions and subjective priors guiding their empirical analyses.
    Keywords: management practices, free-rider problem, individual performance pay, group performance pay, profit sharing
    JEL: J33 M52 M50
    Date: 2023
  3. By: Peter Christensen; Paul Francisco; Erica Myers
    Abstract: Aligning compensation with recipient outcomes has the potential to improve the efficiency of government programs. We perform a field experiment to evaluate the impact of performance bonuses on the returns to spending in a large low-income energy efficiency assistance program. We find that performance-based bonuses dramatically increased program natural gas savings by 24%. The bonuses generate $5.39-$14.53 in social benefits for every dollar invested and increase the social net benefits from home-level weatherization more than two-fold. Contractors performing at high quality at baseline respond disproportionately to the incentives, suggesting that gains in the program's cost-effectiveness result from more efficient allocation of worker effort across workers who differ in their marginal effort cost. We do not find evidence of learning within the two-year study period or of increased deficiencies among non-incentivized tasks.
    JEL: H41 J0 Q4 Q50
    Date: 2023–06
  4. 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: 2023–03–21
  5. By: Achyuta Adhvaryu; Emir Murathanoglu; Anant Nyshadham
    Abstract: We study the allocation and productivity consequences of training production line supervisors in soft skills via a randomized controlled trial. Consistent with standard practice for training investments within firms, we asked middle managers -- who sit above supervisors in the hierarchy -- to nominate members of their supervisory team for training. Program access was randomized within these recommendation rankings. Highly recommended supervisors experienced no productivity gains; in contrast, less-recommended supervisors' productivity increased 12% relative to controls. This was not due to poor information or favoritism. Instead, consistent with the fact that supervisor turnover comes at a large effort cost to middle managers due to gaps in coverage and onboarding, middle managers prioritized retention over productivity impacts. Indeed, treated supervisors were 15% less likely to quit than controls; this gain was most pronounced for highly recommended supervisors. Misallocation of training can help explain the persistence of low managerial quality in firms.
    JEL: J24 L23 M53
    Date: 2023–06
  6. By: Tania Babina; Anastassia Fedyk; Alex X. He; James Hodson
    Abstract: We study the shifts in U.S. firms' workforce composition and organization associated with the use of AI technologies. To do so, we leverage a unique combination of worker resume and job postings datasets to measure firm-level AI investments and workforce composition variables, such as educational attainment, specialization, and hierarchy. We document that firms with higher initial shares of highly-educated workers and STEM workers invest more in AI. As firms invest in AI, they tend to transition to more educated workforces, with higher shares of workers with undergraduate and graduate degrees, and more specialization in STEM fields and IT skills. Furthermore, AI investments are associated with a flattening of the firms' hierarchical structure, with significant increases in the share of workers at the junior level and decreases in shares of workers in middle-management and senior roles. Overall, our results highlight that adoption of AI technologies is associated with significant reorganization of firms' workforces.
    JEL: D22 E22 J01 J23 J24
    Date: 2023–06
  7. By: Lordan, Grace (London School of Economics); Lekfuangfu, Warn N. (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid)
    Abstract: Occupational segregation is one of the major causes of the gender pay gap. We probe the possibility that individual beliefs regarding gender stereotypes established in childhood contribute to gendered sorting. Using an experiment with two vignette designs, which was carried out in schools in the UK, we consider whether students aged 15-16 years recommend that a fictitious peer pursue different college majors and career paths simply because of their gender. We find strong evidence that this is the case. The within-majors treatment design shows that our respondents are 11 percentage points more likely to recommend corporate law to a male peer. The across-majors design reveals that students presented with a male fictitious peer tend to recommend degrees that have lower shares of females to males.
    Keywords: sorting, gender stereotype, gender, vignette design, occupational choice, college major choice
    JEL: J24
    Date: 2023–05
  8. By: Kenta Kojima (Faculty of Economics, Kansai University); Katsuya Takii (Osaka School of International Public Policy, Osaka University)
    Abstract: This paper develops a new method for assigning a value to each job that evaluates the likelihood and speed of promotion from that job to top executive and applies it to personnel data for Japanese bureaucrats. We find that outwardly similar jobs within the same hierarchical rank involve very different opportunities for promotion to top executive. We also reveal frequent real demotions and the early selection of elite bureaucrats unable to be detected through use of hierarchical rank. These findings suggest that assignment to a specific job can be a credible signal for promotion to top management.
    Keywords: Internal labor market; Career paths; Promotion; Fast track; Job Assignment
    JEL: J45 M12 M51
    Date: 2023–06
  9. By: Lucia Del Carpio; Thomas Fujiwara
    Abstract: Gendered-grammar languages like Spanish are spoken by 39% of the world’s population. In a field experiment in partnership with a Spanish-speaking online platform for technology positions, ads randomly selected to use gender-neutral language receive a larger share of female applicants for non-remote positions in fields where female participation is not too low, and similar numbers otherwise. In a separate survey experiment, gender-neutral language in ads increases interest and beliefs about the suitability for the position and the advertiser’s culture of inclusion, with effects that are similar in magnitude to stating the job is remote and larger than explicit diversity statements.
    JEL: J16 J7 M14 Z13
    Date: 2023–06
  10. By: Bjørnshagen, Vegar (Norwegian Social Research Nova); Rooth, Dan-Olof (Stockholm University); Ugreninov, Elisabeth (Norwegian Social Research Nova)
    Abstract: This article examines disability discrimination in the hiring process and explores variation in how the intersection of disability and gender shapes employers' hiring behavior by occupational context and gender segregation. We use data from a field experiment in which approximately 2, 000 job applications with randomly assigned information about disability were sent to Swedish employers with vacancies. We find that nondisabled applicants receive 33 percent more callbacks than similarly qualified wheelchair users despite applying for jobs where the impairment should not interfere with performance. The results indicate no heterogeneity in levels of disability discrimination against men and women on average across occupations or by occupational gender segregation. However, levels of discrimination differ considerably among occupations, varying from no evidence of disability discrimination to discrimination against both disabled men and disabled women as well as cases where disability discrimination is found only against women or only against men. The results thus indicate that disability and gender interact and shape discrimination in distinct ways within particular contexts, which we relate to intersectional stereotyping and norms of gender equality influencing hiring practices but not to declared ambitions for diversity or gender equality legislation.
    Keywords: disability, hiring discrimination, gender, field experiment, correspondence study
    JEL: I14 J14 J23 J64 J71
    Date: 2023–06
  11. By: Bayer, Christian (University of Bonn); Kuhn, Moritz (University of Bonn)
    Abstract: Job levels summarize the complexity, autonomy, and responsibility of task execution. Conceptually, job levels are related to the organization of production, are distinct from occupations, and can be constructed from data on task execution. We highlight their empirical role in matched employer-employee data for life-cycle wage dynamics, refine a task-based view of wage determination, and demonstrate that differences in job levels account for most of the observed wage differences. We also show, within a structural framework, that a job-level perspective provides a novel and fruitful interpretation of widely studied phenomena such as the gender wage gap and the returns to education and seniority.
    Keywords: job levels, wage structure, career ladder
    JEL: D33 E24 J31
    Date: 2023–05

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