nep-hrm New Economics Papers
on Human Capital and Human Resource Management
Issue of 2024‒05‒13
five papers chosen by
Patrick Kampkötter, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

  1. Does gender of firm ownership matter? Female entrepreneurs and the gender pay gap By Kritikos, Alexander S.; Maliranta, Mika; Nippala, Veera; Nurmi, Satu
  2. Are Older Workers Good for Business? By Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein; James Giles
  3. Bad Times, Bad Jobs? How Recessions Affect Early Career Trajectories By Mahajan, Parag; Patki, Dhiren; Stüber, Heiko
  4. Automation and flexible labor contracts: Firm-level evidence from Italy By Traverso, Silvio; Vatiero, Massimiliano; Zaninotto, Enrico
  5. Differences in On-the-Job Learning across Firms By Jaime Arellano-Bover; Fernando Saltiel

  1. By: Kritikos, Alexander S.; Maliranta, Mika; Nippala, Veera; Nurmi, Satu
    Abstract: We examine how the gender of business-owners is related to the wages paid to female relative to male employees working in their firms. Using Finnish register data and employing firm fixed effects, we find that the gender pay gap is - starting from a gender pay gap of 11 to 12 percent - two to three percentage-points lower for hourly wages in female-owned firms than in male-owned firms. Results are robust to how the wage is measured, as well as to various further robustness checks. More importantly, we find substantial differences between industries. While, for instance, in the manufacturing sector, the gender of the owner plays no role for the gender pay gap, in several service sector industries, like ICT or business services, no or a negligible gender pay gap can be found, but only when firms are led by female business owners. Businesses in male ownership maintain a gender pay gap of around 10 percent also in the latter industries. With increasing firm size, the influence of the gender of the owner, however, fades. In large firms, it seems that others - firm managers - determine wages and no differences in the pay gap are observed between male- and female-owned firms.
    Keywords: Entrepreneurship, Gender Pay Gap, Discrimination, Linked employer-employee data
    JEL: J16 J24 J31 J71 L26 M13
    Date: 2024
  2. By: Laura D. Quinby; Gal Wettstein; James Giles
    Abstract: A common concern is that an aging workforce will reduce productivity and firm profitability, yet the evidence to date is mixed. This analysis examines the issue using a large sample from the most recent available Census data that links employees to their employers. The results show little evidence that older workers reduce productivity or profitability, although wide variation by industry exists. Thus, concern about an aging workforce hampering economic performance may be overblown.
    Date: 2023–11
  3. By: Mahajan, Parag (University of Delaware); Patki, Dhiren (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston); Stüber, Heiko (Hochschule der Bundesagentur für Arbeit (HdBA))
    Abstract: Workers who enter the labor market during recessions experience lasting earnings losses, but the role of non-pay amenities in exacerbating or counteracting these losses remains unknown. Using population-scale data from Germany, we find that labor market entry during recessions generates a 5 percent reduction in earnings cumulated over the first decade of experience. Implementing a revealed-preference estimator of employer quality that aggregates information from the universe of worker moves across employers, we find that 17 percent of recession-induced earnings losses are compensated by non-pay amenities. Purely pecuniary estimates can therefore overstate the welfare costs of labor market entry during recessions.
    Keywords: earnings inequality, recessions, non-pay amenities
    JEL: E32 J24 J31 J32
    Date: 2024–04
  4. By: Traverso, Silvio; Vatiero, Massimiliano; Zaninotto, Enrico
    Abstract: This study examines the association between investments in automation technologies and employment outcomes at the firm level, utilizing a panel dataset of about 10, 450 Italian firms. Focusing on the proliferation of non-standard, flexible labor contracts introduced by labor market reforms in the 2000s, we identify a positive relationship between automation investments and the adoption of flexible labor arrangements. With the aid of a conceptual framework, we interpret these findings as evidence of complementarity between flexible capital, represented by automation technologies, and flexible labor, manifested through non-standard contractual arrangements. This complementarity is crucial for enhancing operational flexibility, a critical determinant of firm performance in the modern market environment. However, while this adaptability is beneficial for firms, it raises concerns about job security, the potential for lower wages among workers, and the reduction of workers' incentives to invest in human capital. In terms of policy implications, our analysis underscores the need for measures that safeguard workers' interests without compromising the efficiency gains from automation.
    Keywords: Automation, Labor Contracts, Flexible Capital, Flexible Labor
    JEL: D20 J30 J41 K31
    Date: 2024
  5. By: Jaime Arellano-Bover; Fernando Saltiel
    Abstract: We present evidence that is consistent with large disparities across firms in their on-the-job learning opportunities, using administrative datasets from Brazil and Italy. We categorize firms into discrete “classes”—which our conceptual framework interprets as skill-learning classes—using a clustering methodology that groups together firms with similar distributions of unexplained wage growth. Mincerian returns to experience vary widely across experiences acquired in different firm classes. Four tests leveraging firm stayers and movers, occupation and industry switchers, hiring wages, and displaced workers point towards a portable and general human capital interpretation. Heterogeneous employment experiences explain an important share of wage variance by age 35, thus contributing to shape wage inequality. Firms’ observable attributes only mildly predict on-the-job learning opportunities.
    Keywords: human capital, firms, on-the-job learning, wage growth
    JEL: J24 J31
    Date: 2024

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