780 research outputs found

    Human Resource Management Practices and Wage Dispersion in U.S. Establishments

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    This paper explores the relationship between the presence of employee involvement workplace practices and wage dispersion within firms. Using the representative sample of U.S. establishments from the National Employer Survey conducted in 1994 and 1997, the paper explores the links between employee involvement workplace practices adoption and intensity of use (measured by the percentage of a firm's workers who operate under a given practice) and wage inequality within companies using OLS as well as quantile regressions. The results suggest that adoption of employee involvement workplace practices is associated with greater wage dispersion. Compared to establishments not using any of the involvement practices, firms that adopt a partial system or full system of practices, including regular problem-solving meetings and/or self-managed team and/or job rotation, have significantly greater wage dispersion. On the other hand, firms that complement the practices with training for production workers (on teamwork or other problem-solving meetings) have lower dispersion than those who do not complement with training. The results based on employee involvement intensity of use show evidence of compression effects associated with self-managed teamwork in the manufacturing sector at the 25th percentile or for low wage dispersion firms. There is also evidence of wage compression effects associated with problem-solving meetings in the non-manufacturing sector for high wage dispersion firms.

    The Role of Comparative Advantage and Learning in Wage Dynamics and Intra-Firm Mobility: Evidence from Germany

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    This paper analyzes the dynamics of wages and worker mobility within firms with hierarchical structures of job levels. The paper empirically implements the theoretical model proposed by Gibbons and Waldman (1999) that combines the notions of human capital accumulation, job rank assignment based on comparative advantage, and learning about workers' ability. The paper measures the importance of these elements in explaining intra-firm wage and mobility dynamics using survey data from the German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). The use of this data set makes it possible to examine this issue over a large sample of firms and draw conclusions about the common features characterizing firms' wage policy. The GSOEP survey also provides information about workers' job ranks within the firm that is unavailable in most surveys. The results of the estimation are consistent with non-random selection of workers onto the rungs of the firm's job ladder. There is no direct evidence of learning about workers' unobserved ability, but the analysis reveals the unmeasured ability is an important factor driving wage dynamics. Job rank effects remain significant even after controlling for measured and unmeasured characteristics.wage dynamics, intra-firm mobility, human capital accumulation, unobserved heterogeneity, learning

    Should Workers Care About Firm Size?

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    The question of wage differentials by firm size has been studied for several decades with no commonly accepted explanations for why large firms pay more. In this paper, we reexamine the relationship between firm size and wage outcomes by estimating the returns to unmeasured ability between large and small firms. Our empirical methodology, based on non- linear instrumental variable estimations, allows us to directly estimate the returns to unmeasured ability by firm size and, therefore, to test the two main theories of wage determination proposed to explain the relationship between firm size and wages, namely ability sorting and job screening. We use data from the Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics (SLID), which provides longitudinal information on workers' and firms' characteristics, including establishment and firm size. We find significant differences in the returns to unmeasured ability across firm size. In particular, we find that the returns to unmeasured ability seem to follow a non-linear pattern. The returns to unmeasured ability are significantly higher in medium size (above 500, but below 1000 workers) firms relative to small firms. However, the returns to unmeasured ability are not significantly greater in large firms relative to medium or small firms. Overall, it seems that ability sorting dominates for moves from small to medium size firms in that ability is more productive and, therefore, more rewarded in the latter than the former. On the other hand, when firms become "too large," the monitoring costs hypothesis seems to dominate in that ability is not more rewarded than in smaller firms.Firm Size, Comparative Advantage, Self-selection, Job Screening, Ability Sorting

    Learning: What and How? An Empirical Study of Adjustments in Workplace Organization Structure

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    In this paper we seek to understand how firms learn about what adjustments they need to make in their organization structure at the workplace level. We define four organizational systems: traditional (the simplest system), high-performance (the most complex system), decision-making oriented, and financial-incentives oriented (intermediate complexity). We analyze (1) the effects of learning-by-doing on adoption of more or less complex systems, (2) the shape of the performance-experience learning curves associated with different systems, (3) the match between perceived organizational capabilities and the choice of systems, (4) the influence of other firms‘ systems and performance on a firm‘s adjustment decisions, and (5) the effect of a firm‘s location on its decisions. JEL classification: D83, L25, M54Learning-by-doing, Matching, Social learning, Vicarious Learning, Organizational Adjustments, Human Resources

    Endogenous Choice of Firm Size and the Sturcture of Wages: A Comparison of Canada and the United States

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    This paper compares the Canadian and U.S. wage structures by firm size. The objective is to test for the possibility of different returns to education and experience as well as examine the role played by unmeasured skills in driving the allocation of workers across firms of different sizes. Those effects may arise if large and small firms have different working environments in which the various dimensions of workers' skills (measured and unmeasured) may not be identically productive. The analysis is performed separately for the samples of unionized and non- unionized workers in order to isolate any effects of unions on the size- wage structure. The results show evidence of non-random selection of workers into firms of different sizes for both countries in both sectors. In the non-unionized sector, the selection is found to be strongly negative in large firms in both countries and positive in smaller (strongly for the U.S.). This result implies that workers in large firms are of lower quality in terms of unmeasured aspects of skills and equivalently that large firms do not seem to reward unmeasured skills, and the contrary for small firms. In Canada, although unions are associated with the compressed wage- educational differentials relative to non-unionized employers, the wage- educational differentials are more pronounced in smaller unionized employers. Moreover, similar selection patterns as those in the non- unionized sector are found.

    Uncertainty and Organization Design

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    The task environment, characterized by the degree of complexity, variability, and routine of workers’ tasks, creates varying degrees of asymmetric information between workers and their supervisors, as well as poses varying degrees of difficulty for supervisors and workers in making correct decisions. Thus the task environment generates internal uncertainty, some of which is under the control of workers, in contrast with external uncertainty, which arises from the market and is beyond their control. The measures that address problems associated with internal uncertainty (including incentives, delegation of decision-making to workers, monitoring by supervisors and internal labor markets) are elements of organization design. We explore theoretically and empirically the relationship between uncertainty and organization design, expanding on Baker and Jorgensen’s (2003) idea that the risk-incentives relationship depends on the nature and sources of risk and Prendergast’s (2002a) idea that incentive pay is not a direct response to a firm’s task attributes but is part of a broader organization design that includes additional complementary and substitutable elements.

    A chemical survey of exoplanets with ARIEL

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    Thousands of exoplanets have now been discovered with a huge range of masses, sizes and orbits: from rocky Earth-like planets to large gas giants grazing the surface of their host star. However, the essential nature of these exoplanets remains largely mysterious: there is no known, discernible pattern linking the presence, size, or orbital parameters of a planet to the nature of its parent star. We have little idea whether the chemistry of a planet is linked to its formation environment, or whether the type of host star drives the physics and chemistry of the planet’s birth, and evolution. ARIEL was conceived to observe a large number (~1000) of transiting planets for statistical understanding, including gas giants, Neptunes, super-Earths and Earth-size planets around a range of host star types using transit spectroscopy in the 1.25–7.8 ÎŒm spectral range and multiple narrow-band photometry in the optical. ARIEL will focus on warm and hot planets to take advantage of their well-mixed atmospheres which should show minimal condensation and sequestration of high-Z materials compared to their colder Solar System siblings. Said warm and hot atmospheres are expected to be more representative of the planetary bulk composition. Observations of these warm/hot exoplanets, and in particular of their elemental composition (especially C, O, N, S, Si), will allow the understanding of the early stages of planetary and atmospheric formation during the nebular phase and the following few million years. ARIEL will thus provide a representative picture of the chemical nature of the exoplanets and relate this directly to the type and chemical environment of the host star. ARIEL is designed as a dedicated survey mission for combined-light spectroscopy, capable of observing a large and well-defined planet sample within its 4-year mission lifetime. Transit, eclipse and phase-curve spectroscopy methods, whereby the signal from the star and planet are differentiated using knowledge of the planetary ephemerides, allow us to measure atmospheric signals from the planet at levels of 10–100 part per million (ppm) relative to the star and, given the bright nature of targets, also allows more sophisticated techniques, such as eclipse mapping, to give a deeper insight into the nature of the atmosphere. These types of observations require a stable payload and satellite platform with broad, instantaneous wavelength coverage to detect many molecular species, probe the thermal structure, identify clouds and monitor the stellar activity. The wavelength range proposed covers all the expected major atmospheric gases from e.g. H2O, CO2, CH4 NH3, HCN, H2S through to the more exotic metallic compounds, such as TiO, VO, and condensed species. Simulations of ARIEL performance in conducting exoplanet surveys have been performed – using conservative estimates of mission performance and a full model of all significant noise sources in the measurement – using a list of potential ARIEL targets that incorporates the latest available exoplanet statistics. The conclusion at the end of the Phase A study, is that ARIEL – in line with the stated mission objectives – will be able to observe about 1000 exoplanets depending on the details of the adopted survey strategy, thus confirming the feasibility of the main science objectives.Peer reviewedFinal Published versio

    Contribution of cardio-vascular risk factors to depressive status in the PREDIMED-PLUS Trial. A cross-sectional and a 2-year longitudinal study

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    Background Cardio-vascular disease and depression are thought to be closely related, due to shared risk factors. The aim of the study was to determine the association between cardio-vascular risk (CVR) factors and depressive status in a population (55-75 years) with metabolic syndrome (MetS) from the PREDIMED-Plus trial. Methods and findings Participants were classified into three groups of CVR according to the Framingham-based REGICOR function: (1) low (LR), (2) medium (MR) or (3) high/very high (HR). The Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II) was used to assess depressive symptoms at baseline and after 2 years. The association between CVR and depressive status at baseline (n = 6545), and their changes after 2 years (n = 4566) were evaluated through multivariable regression models (logistic and linear models). HR women showed higher odds of depressive status than LR [OR (95% CI) = 1.78 (1.26, 2.50)]. MR and HR participants with total cholesterol <160 mg/mL showed higher odds of depression than LR [OR (95% CI) = 1.77 (1.13, 2.77) and 2.83 (1.25, 6.42) respectively)] but those with total cholesterol ¿280 mg/mL showed lower odds of depression than LR [OR (95% CI) = 0.26 (0.07, 0.98) and 0.23 (0.05, 0.95), respectively]. All participants decreased their BDI-II score after 2 years, being the decrease smaller in MR and HR diabetic compared to LR [adjusted mean±SE = -0.52±0.20, -0.41 ±0.27 and -1.25±0.31 respectively). MR and HR participants with total cholesterol between 240-279 mg/mL showed greater decreases in the BDI-II score compared to LR (adjusted mean±SE = -0.83±0.37, -0.77±0.64 and 0.97±0.52 respectively). Conclusions Improving cardiovascular health could prevent the onset of depression in the elderly. Diabetes and total cholesterol in individuals at high CVR, may play a specific role in the precise response.The PREDIMED-Plus trial was supported by the European Research Council through a grant to MAM (Advanced Research Grant 2013-2018; 340918). The project was also supported by the official funding agency for biomedical research of the Spanish Government (ISCIII) through the Fondo de Investigación para la Salud (FIS), which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (four coordinated FIS projects), who awarded grants to JS and JV (PI13/00673, PI13/00492, PI13/00272, PI13/01123, PI13/00462, PI13/00233, PI13/02184, PI13/00728, PI13/01090, PI13/01056, PI14/01722, PI14/00636, PI14/00618, PI14/00696, PI14/01206, PI14/01919, PI14/00853, PI14/01374, PI16/00473, PI16/00662, PI16/01873, PI16/01094, PI16/00501, PI16/00533, PI16/00381, PI16/00366, PI16/01522, PI16/01120, PI17/00764, PI17/01183, PI17/00855, PI17/01347, PI17/00525, PI17/01827, PI17/00532, PI17/00215, PI17/01441, PI17/00508, PI17/01732 and PI17/00926). The International Nut&Dried Fruit Council-FESNAD also provided funding through a grant to MAM (201302), and Recercaixa also awarded a grant to JS (2013ACUP00194). The Department of Health, Generalitat de Cataluña by the calls 'Acció instrumental de programes de recerca orientats en låmbit de la recercaila innovació en salut' and 'Pla estrategic de recerca i innovació en salut (PERIS),' also awarded a grant to FF (SLT006/17/00246). This research was also partially funded by: Consejería de Salud de la Junta de Andalucía (PI0458/2013, PS0358/2016, PI0137/2018); Generalitat Valenciana (PROMETEO/2017/017); SEMERGEN, CIBEROBN, FEDER and ISCIII (CB06/03); EU-H2020 Grants (Eat2beNICE/h2020-sfs-2016-2, ref.728018; PRIME/h2020-SC1-BHC-2018-2020, ref: 847879)