nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒09‒11
five papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. The gender composition of supervisor-worker dyads: Career blocks and gender pay gap By Paola Profeta; Giacomo Pasini; Valeria Maggian; Ludovica Spinola
  2. Turning worries into performance: Results from an online experiment during COVID By Eva Raiber; Daniela Horta Saenz; Timothée Demont
  3. Are Managers More Machiavellian than Other Employees? By Baktash, Mehrzad B.; Jirjahn, Uwe
  4. Machine Learning Advice in Managerial Decision-Making: The Overlooked Role of Decision Makers’ Advice Utilization By Sturm, Timo; Pumplun, Luisa; Gerlach, Jin; Kowalczyk, Martin; Buxmann, Peter
  5. Commitment to the truth creates trust in market exchange: Experimental evidence By Nicolas Jacquemet; Stéphane Luchini; Jason F. Shogren; Adam Zylbersztejn

  1. By: Paola Profeta (Bocconi University); Giacomo Pasini (Université de Venise Ca' Foscari); Valeria Maggian (Université de Venise Ca' Foscari); Ludovica Spinola (Université de Venise Ca' Foscari)
    Abstract: We present how the gender composition of supervisor–worker dyads affects workers' outcomes. We use fine-grained longitudinal personnel data on workers from an Italian insurance company over the period 2014–2021 and assign to each worker the gender of the direct supervisor. We implement an individual worker's fixed-effect model, together with a dichotomous variable that captures pre- and post- COVID-19 period and time-varying individual characteristics. Our findings show that, although both male and female managers evaluate similarly the performance of male and female workers, female supervisors grant-lower amount of one-off bonus than male managers to both male and female workers. Moreover, both male and female workers have a lower probability of receiving a promotion from an employee of level VI to middle-managers when the manager is a female.s When exploiting a heterogeneous analysis by gender, results confirm that the gender of the supervisors does not affect workers' performance assessments, while it negatively impacts the total amount of bonus of both male and female workers. We interpret these results as evidence either that female managers are more severe to conform to a masculine gender stereotype associated with a leadership position that female managers are at the head of marginal areas and offices and hence receive less funds to provide bonuses and promotions to workers they supervise.
    Date: 2023–08–11
  2. By: Eva Raiber (Aix-Marseille School of Economics and Center for Economic Policy Research); Daniela Horta Saenz (Aix-Marseille School of Economics); Timothée Demont (Aix Marseille Université Économiques)
    Abstract: Worrisome topics, such as climate change, economic crises, or the COVID-19 pandemic are increasingly present and pervasive because of digital media and social networks. Do worries triggered by such topics affect the cognitive capacities of the youth? In an online experiment during the COVID-19 pandemic (N=1503), we test how the cognitive performance of university students responds when exposed to topics discussing current mental health issues related to social restrictions or future labor market uncertainties linked to the economic contraction. Moreover, we study how such response is affected by a performance goal. We find that the labor market topic increases cognitive performance when the latter is motivated by a goal. The positive reaction is mainly concentrated among students with larger financial and social resources, which points to an inequality-widening mechanism. Conversely, we find no effect after the mental health topic. We even find a weak negative response among those mentally vulnerable when payout is not conditioned on reaching a goal.
    Date: 2023–08–11
  3. By: Baktash, Mehrzad B. (University of Trier); Jirjahn, Uwe (University of Trier)
    Abstract: Concerns about corporate scandals and abusive leadership suggest that individuals with an opportunistic and manipulative personality take advantage of incomplete incentive and control systems to get their way into managerial positions. Against this background, we examine whether there is an association between Machiavellianism and occupying a managerial position. We suggest how to incorporate the psychological concept of Machiavellianism into agency theory and hypothesize that individuals scoring high on Machiavellianism are more likely to attain and keep a managerial position. Using a large and representative panel dataset from Germany, our empirical analysis confirms a strong and positive relationship between Machiavellianism and occupying a managerial position. This result holds in various robustness checks and in instrumental variable estimations accounting for possible endogeneity. Furthermore, our analysis provides evidence that the relationship is monotone; i.e., those with the highest scores of Machiavellianism are most likely to be managers. It also suggests that the direction of influence runs from Machiavellianism to occupational status and not vice versa.
    Keywords: Machiavellianism, dark triad, managers, agency theory, occupational sorting
    JEL: D23 D90 J24 M12 M51
    Date: 2023–08
  4. By: Sturm, Timo; Pumplun, Luisa; Gerlach, Jin; Kowalczyk, Martin; Buxmann, Peter
    Abstract: Machine learning (ML) analyses offer great potential to craft profound advice for augmenting managerial decision-making. Yet, even the most promising ML advice cannot improve decision-making if it is not utilized by decision makers. We therefore investigate how ML analyses influence decision makers’ utilization of advice and resulting decision-making performance. By analyzing data from 239 ML-supported decisions in real-world organizational scenarios, we demonstrate that decision makers’ utilization of ML advice depends on the information quality and transparency of ML advice as well as decision makers’ trust in data scientists’ competence. Furthermore, we find that decision makers’ utilization of ML advice can lead to improved decision-making performance, which is, however, moderated by the decision makers’ management level. The study’s results can help organizations leverage ML advice to improve decision-making and promote the mutual consideration of technical and social aspects behind ML advice in research and practice as a basic requirement.
    Date: 2023–12
  5. By: Nicolas Jacquemet (Paris School of Economics and U. Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne); Stéphane Luchini (Aix-Marseille U., CNRS, EHESS, Centrale Marseille, Aix-Marseille School of Economics); Jason F. Shogren (Department of Economics, U. Wyoming); Adam Zylbersztejn (Univ Lyon, Université Lyon 2, GATE UMR 5824, F-69130 Ecully, France; research fellow at Vistula University Warsaw (AFiBV), Warsaw, Poland)
    Abstract: Social norms like the mutual belief in reciprocity facilitate economic exchange. But this reciprocity norm requires trust among traders, which can be challenging to create among strangers even with communication. The honesty oath is a time-honored mechanism that societies use to overcome this challenge – taking a solemn oath to tell the truth sends a trustworthy signal of real economic commitment given incomplete contracts. Herein we explore how the truth-telling oath creates trust within the sequential reciprocity trust game with pre-play, fixed-form, and cheap-talk communication. Four key results emerge: (1) communication under oath creates more trust and cooperative behavior; but (2) the oath induces a selection effect – it makes people more wary of using communication as a signal. (3) Although the overall net effect on cooperation is positive, the oath cannot reverse a general decay of cooperation over time. (4) By comparing the oath's performance to mild and deterrent fines for deception, we find that the oath is behaviorally equivalent to mild fines. The deterrent fine induces the highest level of cooperation.
    Keywords: Trust game; cooperation; communication; commitment; deception; fine; oath
    JEL: C72 D83
    Date: 2023

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