nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2024‒02‒12
seven papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Firms and Worker Health By Ahammer, Alexander; Packham, Analisa; Smith, Jonathan
  2. The Power of Proximity: How Working beside Colleagues Affects Training and Productivity By Natalia Emanuel; Emma Harrington; Amanda Pallais
  3. Occupational Job Ladders within and between Firms By Forsythe, Eliza
  4. Tournaments, Contestant Heterogeneity and Performance By Enzo Brox; Daniel Goller
  5. Gender Quotas, Board Diversity and Spillover Effects. Evidence from Italian Banks By Del Prete, Silvia; Papini, Giulio; Tonello, Marco
  6. Career Concerns As Public Good - The Role of Signaling for Open Source Software Development By Lena Abou El-Komboz; Moritz Goldbeck
  7. Minimum Hours Constraints: The Role of Organizational Culture By Maciej Albinowski; Joanna Franaszek

  1. By: Ahammer, Alexander (University of Linz); Packham, Analisa (Vanderbilt University); Smith, Jonathan (Georgia State University)
    Abstract: We estimate the role of firms in worker health care utilization. Using linked administrative data on Austrian workers from 1998–2018, we exploit mobility between firms to estimate how much a firm contributes to worker-level differences in utilization in a setting with non-employer provided universal health care. We find that firms are responsible for nearly 30 percent of the variation in across-worker health care expenditures. Effects are not driven by changes in geography or industry. We then estimate a measure of relative firm-specific utilization and explore existing correlates to help explain these effects.
    Keywords: firms, health care utilization, sick leave
    JEL: H51 I1 J2
    Date: 2024–01
  2. By: Natalia Emanuel; Emma Harrington; Amanda Pallais
    Abstract: Firms remain divided about the value of the office for “office” workers. Some firms think that their employees are more productive when working from home. Others believe that the office is a key place for investing in workers’ skills. In this post, which is based on a recent working paper, we examine whether both sides could be right: Could working in the office facilitate investments in workers’ skills for tomorrow that diminish productivity today?
    Keywords: work from home; remote work; on-the-job training; peer effects; mentoring; gender
    JEL: J0 J24
    Date: 2024–01–18
  3. By: Forsythe, Eliza (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
    Abstract: I present four facts about occupational mobility: (1) most movements occur within firms, (2) downward moves are frequent, (3) wage growth reflects the direction and distance of mobility, and (4) relative occupational wages before mobility predict the direction of mobility, except for non-displaced movers between firms. I show these facts are consistent with models of vertical sorting. I show that non-displaced movements between firms obscure the positive selection of upward occupational movers, likely reflecting moves up a firm-wage job ladder. Displaced workers show similar predisplacement selection to internal movers, with pre-displacement occupational wage rank predicting the direction of occupational mobility.
    Keywords: job mobility, job ladders, displaced workers
    JEL: J31 J62 J63 M51
    Date: 2023–12
  4. By: Enzo Brox; Daniel Goller
    Abstract: Tournaments are frequently used incentive mechanisms to enhance performance. In this paper, we use field data and show that skill disparities among contestants asymmetrically affect the performance of contestants. Skill disparities have detrimental effects on the performance of the lower-ability contestant but positive effects on the performance of the higher-ability contestant. We discuss the potential of different behavioral approaches to explain our findings and discuss the implications of our results for the optimal design of contests. Beyond that, our study reveals two important empirical results: (a) affirmative action-type policies may help to mitigate the adverse effects on lower-ability contestants, and (b) the skill level of potential future contestants in subsequent tournament stages can detrimentally influence the performance of higher-ability contestants but does not affect the lower-ability contestant.
    Date: 2024–01
  5. By: Del Prete, Silvia; Papini, Giulio; Tonello, Marco
    Abstract: We study the impact of a law, which required the increase of the proportion of women on boards of listed companies to at least one third. We look at its impact on listed banks, but also test whether it led to spillovers into non-listed banks belonging to listed groups or along other board diversity dimensions. Using administrative data, we compare diversity measures of boards of listed and non-listed banks in listed groups with those in non-listed groups, before and after the introduction of the law, in a difference-in-differences specifi- cation. We find that the imposition of the gender quota only changed the composition of the boards of listed banks, with no effect on their economic performance, nor spillovers on other non-listed banks in listed groups. The law enhanced diversity of boards of listed banks, also along individual characteristics other than gender.
    Keywords: bank boards, diversity, gender, corporate governance
    JEL: G21 G38 J48 J78
    Date: 2024
  6. By: Lena Abou El-Komboz; Moritz Goldbeck
    Abstract: Much of today’s software relies on programming code shared openly online. Yet, it is unclear why volunteer developers contribute to open-source software (OSS), a public good. We study OSS contributions of some 22, 900 developers worldwide on the largest online code repository platform, GitHub, and find evidence in favor of career concerns as a motivating factor to contribute. Our difference-in-differences model leverages time differences in incentives for labor market signaling across users to causally identify OSS activity driven by career concerns. We observe OSS activity of users who move for a job to be elevated by about 16% in the job search period compared to users who relocate for other reasons. This increase is mainly driven by contributions to projects that increase external visibility of existing works, are written in programming languages that are highly valued in the labor market, but have a lower direct use-value for the community. A sizable extensive margin shows signaling incentives motivate frst-time OSS contributions. Our fndings suggest that signaling incentives on private labor markets have sizable positive externalities through public good creation in open-source communities, but these contributions are targeted less to community needs and more to their signal value.
    Keywords: software, knowledge work, digital platforms, signaling, open source, job search
    JEL: L17 L86 H40 J24 J30
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Maciej Albinowski; Joanna Franaszek
    Abstract: We develop a model in which minimum hours constraints (MHC) arise due to both the characteristics of the production function and managerial attitudes. The importance of the organizational culture can be deduced from the correlation between the MHC faced by core tasks personnel and by administrative workers. The tasks performed by administrative workers, such as secretaries, accountants, and HR specialists, are similar across firms. If organizational culture played no role in the origination of MHC, the MHC for administrative workers should be independent of the MHC for core tasks personnel. We test the prediction of our model using the Structure of Earnings Survey data from 19 European countries. We find that across all economic sectors and countries, non-administrative workers are significantly more likely to face MHC in firms with rigid MHC for administrative workers. The explanatory power of our proxy for organizational culture is comparable to that of sector fixed effects. We also find that a culture of rigid working hours is more common in small and medium-sized firms, and in firms with a low share of young managers.
    Keywords: hours constraints, organizational culture, part-time employment
    JEL: J22 J29 L23
    Date: 2024–01

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