nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2023‒11‒20
eight papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. National Wage Setting By Hazell, Jonathon; Patterson, Christina; Sarsons, Heather; Taska, Bledi
  2. Monitoring Harassment in Organizations By Laura Boudreau; Sylvain Chassang; Ada González-Torre; Rachel Heath
  3. Making the invisible hand visible: Managers and the allocation of workers to jobs By Virginia Minni
  4. Inefficient Labor Market Sorting By Carsten Eckel; Stephen R. Yeaple
  5. Borrowed Plumes: The Gender Gap in Claiming Credit for Teamwork By Kinnl, Klara; Möller, Jakob; Walter, Anna
  6. Are recruiters reluctant to hire part-time working men? Evidence from online labor market data By Daniel Kopp
  7. The Effects of Mandatory Profit-Sharing on Workers and Firms: Evidence from France By Elio Nimier-David; David Sraer; David Thesmar
  8. Vacancy duration and wages By Ihsaan Bassier; Alan Manning; Barbara Petrongolo

  1. By: Hazell, Jonathon (London School of Economics); Patterson, Christina (University of Chicago Booth School of Business); Sarsons, Heather (University of British Columbia, Vancouver); Taska, Bledi (Burning Glass Technologies)
    Abstract: How do firms set wages across space? Using job-level vacancy data and a survey of HR managers, we show that 40-50% of a job's posted wages are identical across locations within a firm. Moreover, nominal posted wages within the firm vary relatively little with local prices, a pattern we verify with other measures of job level wages. Using the co-movement of wage growth across establishments, we argue these patterns reflect national wage setting - a significant minority of firms choose to set the same nominal wage for a job across all their establishments, despite varying local labor market conditions.
    Keywords: national wage setting, labor markets
    JEL: J24 J45 J33 H56
    Date: 2023–09
  2. By: Laura Boudreau (Columbia University); Sylvain Chassang (Princeton University); Ada González-Torre (Ben Gurion University); Rachel Heath (University of Washington)
    Abstract: We evaluate secure survey methods designed for the ongoing monitoring of harassment in organizations. To do so, we partner with a large Bangladeshi garment manufacturer and experiment with different designs of phone-based worker surveys. “Hard†garbling (HG) responses to sensitive questions, i.e., automatically recording a random subset as complaints, increases reporting of physical harassment by 290%, sexual harassment by 271%, and threatening behavior by 45%, from reporting rates of 1.5%, 1.8%, and 9.9%, respectively, under the status quo of direct elicitation. Rapport-building and removing team identifiers from responses do not significantly increase reporting. We show that garbled reports can be used to consistently estimate policy-relevant statistics of harassment, including: How prevalent is it? What share of managers is responsible for the misbehavior? and, How isolated are its victims? In our data, harassment is widespread, the problem is not restricted to a minority of managers, and victims are often isolated within teams.
    Keywords: Harassment, whistleblowing, garbling, secure survey design, gender, garments, Bangladesh
    JEL: C42 D82 J70 J71 J81 J83 M54
    Date: 2023–08
  3. By: Virginia Minni
    Abstract: Why do managers matter for firm performance? This paper provides evidence of the critical role of managers in matching workers to jobs within the firm using the universe of personnel records from a large multinational firm. The data covers 200, 000 white-collar workers and 30, 000 managers over 10 years in 100 countries. I identify good managers as the top 30% by their speed of promotion and leverage exogenous variation induced by the rotation of managers across teams. I find that good managers cause workers to reallocate within the firm through lateral and vertical transfers. This leads to large and persistent gains in workers? career progression and productivity. Seven years after the manager transition, workers earn 30% more and perform better on objective performance measures. In terms of aggregate firm productivity, doubling the share of good managers would increase output per worker by 61% at the establishment level. My results imply that the visible hands of managers match workers' specific skills to specialized jobs, leading to an improvement in the productivity of existing workers that outlasts the managers' time at the firm.
    Keywords: managers, career trajectories, internal labor markets, productivity
    JEL: J24 M5
    Date: 2023–10
  4. By: Carsten Eckel (LMU Munich); Stephen R. Yeaple (Pennsylvania State University)
    Abstract: A growing empirical literature attributes much of the productivity advantages of large, "superstar" firms to their adoption of best practice management techniques that allow them to better identify and use talented workers. The reasons for the incomplete adoption of these "structured management practices" and their welfare implications are not well understood. This paper provides a positive and normative analysis of these issues in a theoretical framework in which structured management practices induce sorting of talent across firms. Incomplete adoption arises because worker talent is in limited supply. In equilibrium there is excessive adoption of structured management practices and too much sorting of talented workers into large firms. In this second-best environment, policy changes that favor large firms, such as trade liberalization, have the potential to lower welfare.
    Keywords: labor market imperfection; misallocation; productivity; wage inequality; international trade; welfare;
    JEL: F12 F16 J31 J33 J42 M51
    Date: 2023–10–23
  5. By: Kinnl, Klara; Möller, Jakob; Walter, Anna
    Abstract: We investigate gender differences in individual credit claiming for teamwork. In a large-scale online experiment, participants work on an interactive task in teams of two and subsequently report their subjective contribution to the teamwork. In three between-subject treatments, we incentivize participants to either i) state their beliefs about their contribution truthfully, ii) to exaggerate their contribution, or iii) to exaggerate and thereby harm the other team member. Our setup allows us to distinguish between overconfidence and exaggeration with and without negative externalities, and to test whether there is a gender gap in credit claiming. We find that men and women both equally overestimate their contributions, but men exaggerate more than women: As soon as there is an incentive to exaggerate, men claim to have contributed more than women, even when exaggeration harms the team member. This gender gap in credit claiming is particularly pronounced among very large claims and for high-contributors. Strategic misrepresentations of contributions to teamwork can thus have sizeable equity consequences on the labor market.
    Keywords: Experiment, Gender differences, Incentives, Team work, Overconfidence, Beliefs
    Date: 2023–08–17
  6. By: Daniel Kopp (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich, Switzerland)
    Abstract: Part-time work is a popular way to reconcile work and family obligations. This study uses large-scale observational data from an online recruitment platform and an online job board to examine how easy it is to get a part-time job and whether this depends on the gender of a jobseeker. First, I relate the number of hours stated on job advertisements to the gender preferences of firms indicated in a confidential online form. Second, I analyze hiring decisions of recruiters who navigate through jobseeker profiles. I estimate contact penalties for male and female jobseekers looking for part-time jobs by applying supervised machine learning to control for all relevant jobseeker characteristics visible to recruiters and by exploiting within jobseeker changes of hours preferences over time. I find that recruiters prefer full-time over part-time workers and that the part-time penalty is much more pronounced for men than for women, even when comparing applicants for the same position. Hence, the gender differences cannot be explained by differences in job or workplace characteristics. Instead, the preponderance of evidence points towards bias coming.
    Keywords: Recruitment, part-time, gender equality, hiring, online labor markets
    JEL: J16 J23 M51
    Date: 2022–12
  7. By: Elio Nimier-David; David Sraer; David Thesmar
    Abstract: Since 1967, all French firms with more than 100 employees are required to share a fraction of their excess-profits with their employees. Through this scheme, firms with excess-profits distribute on average 10.5% of their pre-tax income to workers. In 1990, the eligibility threshold was reduced to 50 employees. We exploit this regulatory change to identify the effects of mandated profit-sharing on firms and their employees. The cost of mandated profit-sharing for firms is evident in the significant bunching at the 100 employee threshold observed prior to the reform, which completely disappears post-reform. Using a difference-in-difference strategy, we find that, at the firm-level, mandated profit-sharing (a) increases labor share by 1.8 percentage points, (b) reduces the profit share by 1.4 percentage points, and (c) does not affect investment nor productivity. At the employee level, mandated profit-sharing increases low-skill workers' total compensation and leaves high-skill workers total compensation unchanged. Overall, mandated profit-sharing redistributes excess-profits to lower-skill workers in the firm, without generating significant distortions or productivity effects.
    JEL: G3 H20 J01 J30
    Date: 2023–10
  8. By: Ihsaan Bassier; Alan Manning; Barbara Petrongolo
    Abstract: We estimate the elasticity of vacancy duration with respect to posted wages, using data from the near-universe of online job adverts in the United Kingdom. Our research design identifies duration elasticities by leveraging firm-level wage policies that are plausibly exogenous to hiring difficulties on specific job vacancies, and control for job and market-level fixed-effects. Wage policies are defined based on external information on pay settlements, or on sharp, internally-defined, firm-level changes. In our preferred specifications, we estimate duration elasticities in the range -3 to -5, which are substantially larger than the few existing estimates.
    Keywords: vacancy duration, wages, monopsony, employment
    Date: 2023–08–18

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