nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2024‒02‒26
nine papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Peer pressure and manager pressure in organisations By Battiston, Diego Ezequiel; Blanes I Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Tom; Szemeredi, Katalin
  2. Overexertion of Effort Under Working Time Autonomy and Feedback Provision By Thomas Dohmen; Elena Shvartsman
  3. Birds of a Feather Earn Together. Gender and Peer Effects at the Workplace By Messina, Julián; Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna; Terskaya, Anastasia
  4. Working from Home and Job Satisfaction: The Role of Gender and Personality Traits By Esposito, Piero; Mendolia, Silvia; Scicchitano, Sergio; Tealdi, Cristina
  5. Interpersonal Preferences and Team Performance: The Role of Liking in Complex Problem Solving By Timm Opitz
  6. Non-compete agreements in a rigid labour market: the case of Italy By Boeri, Tito Michele; Garnero, Andrea; Luisetto, Lorenzo G.
  7. Who Makes It to the Top? Differential Rewards to Personality across Gender and Occupation in the UK By Josten, Cecily; Lordan, Grace
  8. What Skills Pay More? The Changing Demand and Return to Skills for Professional Workers By Josten, Cecily; Krause, Helen; Lordan, Grace; Yeung, Brian
  9. The Tradeoffs of Transparency: Measuring Discrimination When Subjects Are Told They Are in an Experiment By Amanda Agan; Bo Cowgill; Laura Gee

  1. By: Battiston, Diego Ezequiel; Blanes I Vidal, Jordi; Kirchmaier, Tom; Szemeredi, Katalin
    Abstract: We study the interaction between horizontal (peer) and vertical (manager) social factors in workers' motivation. In our setting, individuals work using open-plan desks. Using a natural experiment, we identify a sharp increase in workers' productivity following the occupation of adjacent desks. We link this peer pressure effect to two key aspects of the worker-manager relation. First, we find stronger peer pressure when managers monitor workers less. Second, we find stronger peer pressure among workers performance-evaluated by the same manager. In a set of counterfactual exercises, we illustrate how organisations could take advantage of these interdependencies to increase worker productivity.
    Keywords: social incentives; teamwork; peer pressure; monitoring; managers; peer effects; organisations; productivity
    JEL: D23 M11
    Date: 2023–06–01
  2. By: Thomas Dohmen; Elena Shvartsman
    Abstract: Working time autonomy is often accompanied by output-based incentives to counterbalance the loss of monitoring that comes with granting autonomy. However, in such settings, overprovision of effort could arise if workers are uncertain whether their performance suffices to secure the output-based rewards. Perfor-mance feedback can reduce or eliminate such uncertainty. We develop an exper-iment to show that overprovision of costly effort is more likely to occur in work environments with working time autonomy in the absence of feedback. A key fea-ture of our design is that it allows for a clean measurement of effort overprovision by keeping performance per unit of time fixed, which we achieve by calibrating subjects’ productivity on a real effort task ex ante. This novel design can serve as a workhorse for various experiments as it allows for exogenous variation of perfor-mance certainty (i.e., by providing feedback), working time autonomy, productivity, effort costs, and the general incentive structure. We find that subjects provide significantly more costly effort beyond a level necessary to meet their performance targets in the presence of uncertainty, i.e., the absence of feedback, which suggests that feedback shields workers from overprovision of costly effort.
    Keywords: working time autonomy, performance uncertainty, feedback provision, incentives, effort, subjective stress
    JEL: C91 D90 I10 J81
    Date: 2023–03
  3. By: Messina, Julián (Universidad de Alicante); Sanz-de-Galdeano, Anna (Universidad de Alicante); Terskaya, Anastasia (University of Barcelona)
    Abstract: Utilizing comprehensive administrative data from Brazil, we investigate the impact of peer effects on wages, considering both within-gender and cross-gender dynamics. Since the average productivity of both individuals and their peers is unobservable, we estimate these values using worker fixed effects while accounting for occupational and firm sorting. Our findings reveal that within-gender peer effects have approximately twice the influence of cross-gender peer effects on wages for both males and females. Furthermore, we observe a reduction in the disparity between these two types of peer effects in settings characterized by greater gender equality.
    Keywords: peer effects, gender, matched employer-employee data, identity, wage determination
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 M12 M54
    Date: 2024–01
  4. By: Esposito, Piero (University of Cassino and Southern Lazio); Mendolia, Silvia (University of Torino); Scicchitano, Sergio (John Cabot University); Tealdi, Cristina (Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh)
    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: 2024–01
  5. By: Timm Opitz (MPI-IC)
    Abstract: Organizations increasingly rely on teams to solve complex problems. The ability of teams to work well together is critical to their success. I experimentally test whether team performance is affected by whether team members like each other. I find that teams in which partners like each other do not outperform teams in which partners dislike each other. However, teams in which one partner likes the other more than the other perform best. The performance differences result directly from changes in collaborative behavior when learning the team partner's interpersonal preferences, not indirectly from interacting with different individuals. Participants do not anticipate this pattern and expect to be most successful in a team where partners like each other. This provides insights into how teams should be optimally composed, when self-selection may be detrimental to performance, and what information about others' interpersonal preferences should be revealed.
    Keywords: interpersonal preferences; teamwork; liking; complex problem solving; non-routine tasks;
    JEL: C92 D23 D83 D91
    Date: 2024–02–09
  6. By: Boeri, Tito Michele; Garnero, Andrea; Luisetto, Lorenzo G.
    Abstract: Non-compete clauses (NCCs) limiting the mobility of workers have been found to be rather widespread in the US, a flexible labour market with large turnover rates and a limited coverage of collective bargaining. This paper explores the presence of such arrangements in a rigid labour market, with strict employment protection regulations by OECD standards and where all employees are, at least on paper, subject to collective bargaining. Based on a representative survey of employees in the private sector, an exam of collective agreements and case law, we find that in Italy i) collective agreements play no role in regulating the use of NCCs while the law specifies only the formal requirements, ii) about 16% of private sector employees are currently bound by a NCC, iii) NCCs are relatively frequent among low educated employees in manual and elementary low paid occupations having no access to any type of confidential information, and iv) in addition to NCCs, a number of other arrangements limit the post-employment activity of workers. Many of the NCCs do not comply with the minimum requirements established by law and yet workers do not consider them as unenforceable and appear to behave as they were effective. Even when NCCs are unenforceable they appear to negatively affect wages when they are introduced without changing the tasks of the workers involved. Normative implications are discussed in the last section of the paper.
    Keywords: non-compete clauses; monopsony; labour market concentration; employment; wages
    JEL: J31 J41 J42 L40
    Date: 2023–04–03
  7. By: Josten, Cecily (London School of Economics); Lordan, Grace (London School of Economics)
    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: 2024–01
  8. By: Josten, Cecily (London School of Economics); Krause, Helen (Citi, Citigroup Centre); Lordan, Grace (London School of Economics); Yeung, Brian (Citi, Citigroup Centre)
    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: skills, cognitive skills, soft skills, inclusive leadership, wages, demand for skills
    JEL: J10
    Date: 2024–01
  9. By: Amanda Agan; Bo Cowgill; Laura Gee
    Abstract: Correspondence audit studies have sent almost one-hundred-thousand resumes without informing subjects they are in a study - increasing realism, but without being fully transparent. We study the potential trade-offs of this lack of transparency by running a hiring field experiment with recruiters in a natural setting. One group of recruiters is told they are screening for an employer, and another is told they are part of an academic study. Job applicants' gender is randomly assigned. When subjects are told they are in an experiment, callback rates and willingness-to-pay for male candidates decline relative to female candidates (with no detectable change for female candidates). This suggests that telling subjects they are in an experiment would underestimate gender inequality.
    Date: 2023

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