nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2024‒01‒08
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Learning from praise: evidence from a field experiment with teachers By Cotofan, Maria
  2. Going From Entrepreneur Back to Employee: Employer Type, Task Variety, and Job Satisfaction By Francesca Melillo
  3. Female Board Representation and Corporate Performance: A Review and New Estimates for Australia By Bayly, Nicholas; Breunig, Robert; Wokker, Chris
  4. Task returns and the gender pay gap By Storm, Eduard
  5. Labor flexibility and innovation: the importance of firms’ heterogeneity By Marco Augliera; Gabriella Berloffa; Fabio Pieri
  6. Managerial Horizon and Corporate Labor Policies: Evidence from Fixed-Term Boards By Sabrina Di Addario; Vincenzo Pezone; Ra↵aele Saggio
  7. Artificial Intelligence and Workers’ Well-being By Osea Giuntella; Johannes König; Luca Stella
  8. Discrimination in Evaluation Criteria: The Role of Beliefs versus Outcomes By Nisvan Erkal; Lata Gangadharan; Boon Han Koh
  9. Gender Diversity and Diversity of Ideas By Belot, Michèle; Kurmangaliyeva, Madina; Reuter, Johanna

  1. By: Cotofan, Maria
    Abstract: Financial incentive programs for teachers are increasingly common, but little is known about the effectiveness of non-monetary incentives in improving educational outcomes. This field experiment measures how repeated public praise for the best teachers impacts student performance. In treated schools, the students of praised teachers perform better on standardized exams undertaken six months after the intervention. Praised teachers also assign higher marks to their students two months after the intervention. The students of teachers who are not praised in treated schools are assigned lower marks two months after the intervention, but they do not perform any worse on final exams. Compared to costly interventions where teachers receive financial incentives, the effects of public praise for praised teachers are remarkably large.
    Keywords: field experiment; non-monetary incentives; public praise; teacher performance
    JEL: C39 I21 J30 J45 J53 M52
    Date: 2021–12–01
  2. By: Francesca Melillo (Skema Business School; CNRS, GREDEG, France)
    Abstract: While the literature documents a wage loss for entrepreneurs that return to paid employment, we examine how these entrepreneurs are re-integrated into the labor market. We consider which type of employers hire entrepreneurs and their satisfaction with the new corporate job. Using matched employer-employee data from Belgium combined with an ad-hoc survey, we find that entrepreneurs are hired by smaller employers that offer fewer employee benefits and pay less, contributing to explaining the wage loss. We also find that entrepreneurs are more satisfied than observationally equivalent employees when they are assigned to jobs that involve higher task variety. This effect is more pronounced for entrepreneurs who sort into better employers. Our findings highlight the importance for managers to assign entrepreneurs to the "right" job tasks.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurs, job satisfaction, task variety, employee benefits, wage loss
    JEL: J23 J24 L26
    Date: 2023–12
  3. By: Bayly, Nicholas (Australian National University); Breunig, Robert (Australian National University); Wokker, Chris (Australian National University)
    Abstract: Despite a conventional wisdom that female board members positively impact firm performance, a thorough examination of the research to date reveals no consensus that female board members have either a positive or negative effect on firm performance. We build the largest dataset of Australian board appointments assembled to date. We use our data to demonstrate how difficult it is to replicate existing research, with one example from Australia and one from the US. Using event studies and regression analyses we demonstrate that there is little evidence that female board representation affects firm financial performance.
    Keywords: firm performance, board of directors, gender representation, female directors
    JEL: J16 N20 G32
    Date: 2023–11
  4. By: Storm, Eduard
    Abstract: Using worker-level task data, I explore if women's perceived comparative advantages in interactive tasks can contribute to a reduction in the gender pay gap. I find women receive lower returns to interactive tasks, even within occupations, despite increasing female employment shares in interactive-intensive occupations. Perceived comparative advantages in interactive tasks thus do not appear to pay off financially.
    Abstract: Anhand von Tätigkeitsdaten auf Arbeiterebene untersuche ich, ob die wahrgenommenen komparativen Vorteile von Frauen bei interaktiven Aufgaben zu einer Verringerung des geschlechtsspezifischen Lohngefälles beitragen können. Ich finde dass Frauen geringere Erträge aus interaktiven Aufgaben erhalten, sogar innerhalb von Berufen, trotz steigender Beschäftigungsanteile von Frauen in interaktiv-intensiven Berufen. Wahrgenommene komparative Vorteile bei interaktiven Aufgaben scheinen sich somit finanziell für Frauen nicht auszuzahlen.
    Keywords: Gender pay gap, task returns, job hierarchies
    JEL: J16 J21 J24 J31
    Date: 2023
  5. By: Marco Augliera (University of Trento); Gabriella Berloffa (University of Trento); Fabio Pieri (University of Trento)
    Abstract: This work investigates the relationship between the numerical flexibility of a firm’s workforce and its innovative performance, taking into account the heterogeneity of firms and labor contracts. Using longitudinal data on Italian firms, we find that the share of temporary employees has a positive and significant effect on innovation for small and micro firms in low-tech and less knowledge-intensive sectors and a negative effect for medium and large firms in high-tech and knowledge-intensive sectors. These results suggest that managers and entrepreneurs may use temporary employment as an effective human resource practice to foster innovation in those firms whose technology or knowledge do not require vast and firm- specific investments. They also highlight possible unintended consequences of changes in the employment protection legislation for firms’ innovative performance. Functional flexibility (training policies) and wage flexibility (second-level wage bargaining scheme) are neither substitutes nor complements to numerical flexibility, suggesting that firms use numerical, functional, and wage flexibility in different combinations.
    Keywords: Numerical flexibility; labor contracts; firm innovation; industrial relations
    JEL: D22 L23 M54 M55 J41
    Date: 2022–12–12
  6. By: Sabrina Di Addario; Vincenzo Pezone; Ra↵aele Saggio
    Abstract: We examine the relationship between managerial incentives and firms’ human resource policies by combining Italian social security records with newly collected data on board terms. We exploit the fact that boards of listed companies are appointed every three years as a source of variation in directors’ and top executives’ horizons. Our evidence shows that average wages cyclically decline in the last year of the board term, as managers approach the end of their tenure, consistent with executives trying to cut labor expenses and, hence, maximize profitability when they are up for reappointment. By leveraging individual administrative data, we also show that involuntary separations that occur close to the end of a board term lead to significantly worse outcomes for workers compared to involuntary separations that occur at the beginning of a board term; this result is driven by outsourcing events. These effects are not present in firms where managers are more likely to be entrenched, such as family-managed firms.
    Date: 2022–12–12
  7. By: Osea Giuntella; Johannes König; Luca Stella
    Abstract: This study explores the relationship between artificial intelligence (AI) and workers’ well-being and mental health using longitudinal survey data from Germany (2000-2020). We construct a measure of individual exposure to AI technology based on the occupation in which workers in our sample were first employed and explore an event study design and a difference-in-differences approach to compare AI-exposed and non-exposed workers. Before AI became widely available, there is no evidence of differential pre-trends in workers’ well-being and concerns about their economic futures. Since 2015, however, with the increasing adoption of AI in firms across Germany, we find that AI-exposed workers have become less satisfied with their life and job and more concerned about job security and their personal economic situation. However, we find no evidence of a significant impact of AI on workers’ mental health, anxiety, or depression.
    Keywords: Artificial Intelligence, Future of Work, Well-being, Mental Health
    JEL: I10 J28 O30
    Date: 2023
  8. By: Nisvan Erkal (Department of Economics, University of Melbourne); Lata Gangadharan (Department of Economics, Monash University); Boon Han Koh (Department of Economics, University of Exeter)
    Abstract: Using incentivized experiments, we investigate whether different criteria are used in evaluating male and female leaders when outcomes are determined by unobservable choices and luck. Evaluators form beliefs about leaders' choices and make discretionary payments. We find that while payments to male leaders are determined by both outcomes and evaluators' beliefs, those to female leaders are determined by outcomes only. We label this new source of gender bias as the gender criteria gap. Our findings imply that high outcomes are necessary for women to get bonuses, but men can receive bonuses for low outcomes as long as evaluators hold them in high regard.
    Keywords: gender gaps, discrimination, evaluation criteria, biases in beliefs, outcome bias, social preferences, laboratory experiments
    JEL: C92 D91 J71
    Date: 2023–12–18
  9. By: Belot, Michèle (Cornell University); Kurmangaliyeva, Madina (Université Libre de Bruxelles); Reuter, Johanna (Johannes Kepler University Linz)
    Abstract: Diversity in employee representation is often advocated for its potential to promote the diversity of ideas, and thereby innovation. In this study, we shed light on the phenomenon of 'idea homophily', which is a tendency to be more interested in ideas closer to one's own. We first document recent trends in the Economics Academic junior hiring showing that women specializing in traditionally male-dominated fields are faring significantly better than their counterparts in female-dominated fields and even outperform their male peers. We then examine the demand for ideas in a college educated population with an Online experiment involving 500 participants. We find substantial gender differences in which ideas people are choosing to engage with. Also, when decision-makers are predominantly male, incentives encouraging engagement with female ideas increase substantially their demand, but disproportionately in male-dominated fields. In contrast, incentives encouraging ideas in female-fields in general increase exposure to female ideas but do not lead to an over-representation of either gender conditional on field.
    Keywords: gender diversity, innovation, homophily, hiring, academia
    JEL: J16 O30
    Date: 2023–11

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