nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2024‒02‒19
ten papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Vacancy duration and wages By Bassier, Ihsaan; Manning, Alan; Petrongolo, Barbara
  2. Pay-for-Performance Contracts in the Lab and the Real World: Evidence from Nigeria By Sebastian Bauhoff; Eeshani Kandpal
  3. Making the invisible hand visible: managers and the allocation of workers to jobs By Minni, Virginia Magda Luisa
  4. How hybrid working from home works out By Bloom, Nicholas; Han, Ruobing; Liang, James
  5. The signals we give: Performance feedback, gender, and competition By Alexander Coutts; Boon Han Koh; Zahra Murad
  6. Working from home and job satisfaction: The role of gender and personality traits By Esposito, P.; Mendolia, S.; Scicchitano, S.; Tealdi, C.
  7. Measuring Job Risks When Hedonic Wage Models Do Not Do the Job By Ferreira, Susana; Martinez-de-Morentin, Sara; Erro-Garcés, Amaya
  8. Who makes it to the top? Differential rewards to personality across gender and occupation in the UK By Josten, Cecily; Lordan, Grace
  9. Labour market power: New evidence on Non-Compete Agreements and the effects of M&A in the UK By Julian Alves; Jason Greenberg; Yaxin Guo; Ravija Harjai; Bruno Serra; John Van Reenen
  10. What skills pay more? The changing demand and return to skills for professional workers By Josten, Cecily; Krause, Helen; Lordan, Grace; Yeung, Brian

  1. By: Bassier, Ihsaan; Manning, Alan; Petrongolo, Barbara
    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; Grant LPIGMANN Number 834455
    JEL: J63 J42
    Date: 2023–08–18
  2. By: Sebastian Bauhoff (Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health); Eeshani Kandpal (Center for Global Development)
    Abstract: A two-stage experiment disentangles the effect of various aspects of pay-for-performance contracts. The first is a lab-in-the-field experiment where 1, 359 health workers are primed with a checklist of salient clinical tasks, then randomized within 690 clinics to receive no incentives, rewards, or penalties for treating hypothetical patients. Both rewards and penalties improve performance by 20 percent and generate spillovers on unincentivized tasks, but small incentives capture most gains. In the second stage, lab impacts translate into the real world: lab PFP exposure improves by 20 percent the care provided to real-world patients even after the lab experiment.
    Keywords: Pay-for-performance; Health workers; Lab-in-the-field experiment
    JEL: C93 I11 I15 J41 J45 M52 O15
    Date: 2024–01–29
  3. By: Minni, Virginia Magda Luisa
    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: 2023–10–05
  4. By: Bloom, Nicholas; Han, Ruobing; Liang, James
    Abstract: Hybrid working from home (WFH), whereby employees work a mix of days at home and at work each week, has become dominant for graduate employees in the US. This paper evaluates a randomized control trial on 1612 engineers, marketing and finance employees of a large technology firm that allowed odd birthday employees to WFH on Wednesday and Friday and kept even birthday employees full time in the office. There are four key results. First, WFH reduced attrition rates by 35% and improved self-reported work satisfaction scores, highlighting how employees place a considerable value on this amenity. Second, WFH reduced hours worked on home days but increased it on other work days and the weekend, highlighting how home-working alters the structure of the working week. Third, WFH employees increased individual messaging and group video call communication, even when in the office, reflecting the impact of remote work on working patterns. Finally, while there was no significant impact of WFH on performance ratings or promotions, lines of code written increased by 8%, and employees' self-assessed productivity was up 1.8%, suggesting a small positive impact. Given these benefits for retention, job satisfaction, and productivity, after the experiment ended the firm extended hybrid WFH to the entire company.
    Keywords: hybrid working from home; graduate employees; job retention; job satisfaction
    JEL: J00
    Date: 2023–06–01
  5. By: Alexander Coutts (York University); Boon Han Koh (University of Exeter); Zahra Murad (University of Portsmouth)
    Abstract: Feedback is a vital tool used by organizations and educators to improve performance, spark learning, and foster individual growth. Yet, anecdotal evidence suggests that many individuals are hesitant to provide others with feedback. Moreover, gender biases may influence its provision, with consequences for the representation of women in leadership and com- petitive professions. We study feedback provision under different conditions that vary the nature of performance signals, how instrumental they are for decision making, and gender of the recipient. Our results reveal that a substantial degree of feedback is withheld by advisors. Moreover, advisors are more likely to shield women from negative feedback in conditions characterized both by a lack of complete information about performance, and feedback that is not immediately instrumental for their decision-making. This effect is driven by male advisors. Our findings showcase how gender differences can arise in feedback provision, and highlight when these differences may be more likely to appear.
    Keywords: Feedback Provision; Gender; Ego/Belief Utility; Competitiveness; Discrimination
    JEL: C90 D83 D91 J16 M54
    Date: 2024–01–30
  6. By: Esposito, P.; Mendolia, S.; Scicchitano, S.; Tealdi, C.
    Abstract: In this paper we investigate the effect of working-from home (WFH) on job satisfaction. We use longitudinal data from Italy to estimate a difference-in-differences model, in which the treatment group includes individuals who transitioned to remote work in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and continued to work from home in 2021. We perform the analysis, which extends to various aspects of self-reported job satisfaction, by gender and personality traits as per the Big-Five framework, encompassing Openness to Experience, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Our findings reveal that WFH exhibits a positive influence on job satisfaction, albeit exclusively among women, and with some heterogeneity, depending on personal characteristics. Specifically, this effect seems more noticeable in women characterized by elevated Openness to Experience, whereas those with heightened conscientiousness or neuroticism levels tend to experience less satisfaction when working remotely.
    Keywords: remote working, difference in differences, longitudinal analysis, gender differences, Big-Five framework
    JEL: J28 J81 J16
    Date: 2024
  7. By: Ferreira, Susana (University of Georgia); Martinez-de-Morentin, Sara (Universidad Pública de Navarra); Erro-Garcés, Amaya (Universidad Pública de Navarra)
    Abstract: Hedonic wage regressions show little evidence that European workers facing larger job risks and other workplace disamenities receive higher wages. On the other hand, workers in more risky or unpleasant jobs are less satisfied with their jobs, ceteris paribus. If labor markets were perfectly competitive and workers fully informed of their working conditions ex ante, according to the theory of compensating differentials, there should be no relationship between on-the-job risk and job satisfaction because wages would fully adjust to compensate for differences in job characteristics. We show that when wages do not fully compensate for on-the-job risks, the willingness to pay to reduce mortality risks estimated from hedonic regressions needs to be complemented with a residual effect of job risks on utility which is not capitalized on wages. We explore the potential of job satisfaction regressions as an additional valuation approach to estimate the tradeoffs between wages and risks that keep job satisfaction constant.
    Keywords: on-the-job risk, experienced preference, job satisfaction, hedonic wages, stated preference, value of a statistical life
    JEL: Q51 I12 I18 J17 J31 K32
    Date: 2024–01
  8. By: Josten, Cecily; Lordan, Grace
    Abstract: This study tests whether personality traits are legitimately rewarded in the labour market or whether there are differing rewards across gender that cannot be explained with productivity. We investigate if personality traits affect the likelihood of making it to the top income quintile within an occupation differently by gender using UK Household Longitudinal data. We find that being agreeable hurts men more than women across a majority of occupations, which points at the role of gender norms for wages. Further, female legislators and senior officials who are conscientious, extraverted, neurotic and open are more likely to be among the top earners than men. Other than that, we find small gender differences in personality rewards.
    Keywords: personality traits; agreeableness; Big Five; labor market; earnings; gender wage gap
    JEL: J16 J24 J31
    Date: 2024
  9. By: Julian Alves; Jason Greenberg; Yaxin Guo; Ravija Harjai; Bruno Serra; John Van Reenen
    Abstract: Monopsony power is an important feature of modern labour markets. We examine its impact on workers. We report the first representative survey of Non-Compete-Agreements (NCA) in the UK and find that about 26% of workers appear to be covered, a higher fraction than in comparable surveys in the US (18%) and Italy (16%). Although NCAs are more prevalent for skilled workers, a large number of low skilled workers are also subject to NCAs (e.g. over a fifth of plant operators). Moreover, although NCAs are associated with higher training (conditional on other measures of skills), we argue that such benefits are unlikely to justify their high prevalence. Finally, we examine the impact of over 2, 000 M& UK panel data between 1997 and 2022 (over 900, 000 observations). The data suggests that M&A tends to reduce employment growth in the merged entity (from 3% a year prior to the merger to about zero in the subsequent five years), particularly in target firms. However, there is no evidence of any falls in average wage growth (in acquirer or target) as monopsony would predict - if anything, average wages are higher. Nor does profitability or productivity change post-merger.
    Keywords: management practices, productivity, competition
    Date: 2024–01–29
  10. By: Josten, Cecily; Krause, Helen; Lordan, Grace; Yeung, Brian
    Abstract: Technology is disrupting labor markets. We analyze the demand and reward for skills at occupation and state level across two time periods using job postings. First, we use principal components analysis to derive nine skills groups: ‘collaborative leader’, ‘interpersonal & organized’, ‘big data’, ‘cloud computing’, ‘programming’, ‘machine learning’, ‘research’, ‘math’ and ‘analytical’. Second, we comment on changes in the price and demand for skills over time. Third, we analyze non-linear returns to all skills groups and their interactions. We find that ‘collaborative leader’ skills become significant over time and that legacy data skills are replaced over time by innovative ones.
    Keywords: personality traits; agreeableness; Big Five; labor market; earnings; gender wage gap
    JEL: J50
    Date: 2024

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