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Pay-for-Performance and Employee Mental Health: Large Sample Evidence Using Employee Prescription Drug Usage
This paper provides evidence linking pay-for-performance (P4P) adoption by employers to long-term and serious mental health problems in employees. Matching survey-based data on P4P adoption by 1,309 Danish firms with wage, demographic, and medical prescription data of 318,717 full-time employees, we find a four to six percent increase in the usage of anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medication after firms adopt P4P. This change is strongest in low-performing and older workers.
I am honored to receive the 2017 Schulze Publication Award with Olav Sorenson for our article summarizing the 2012 Management Science paper, Home Sweet Home: Entrepreneurs’ Location Choices and the Performance of Their Ventures.
The authors analyze Danish registry data from 1991 to 2006 to determine how firm age and firm size influence wages. Unadjusted statistics suggest that smaller firms paid less than larger firms paid, and that firm age had little or no bearing on wages. After adjusting for differences in the characteristics of employees hired by these firms, however, they observe both firm age and firm size effects. Larger firms paid more than did smaller firms for observationally equivalent individuals but, contrary to conventional wisdom, younger firms paid more than older firms. The size effect, however, dominates the age effect. Thus, although the typical start-up—being both young and small—paid less than a more established employer, the largest start-ups paid a wage premium.
We examine the extent to which the gender wage gap may depend on the fact that dual-earner couples must jointly choose a place to live and work. If couples systematically locate in places better suited for the advancement of the husband’s career than to the wife’s, those choices would then tend to depress the wages of married women relative to married men. Examining data from Denmark, our results suggest (i) that Danish couples weight men’s potential wage gains much more heavily than women’s in their decisions of whether to and where to move, (ii) that these intra-couple preferences may account for as much as 36% of the gender wage gap in Denmark, and (iii) that, ultimately, these differential weightings appear to reflect gender roles, to a large extent inherited from the wife’ parents. We therefore demonstrate that systematic gender inequality can emerge from unexpected places and processes.
On November 1st, I am moving to Aarhus University to become Professor of Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behavior at the Department of Management.
This paper was first drafted during my visit at Carnegie Mellon University in the Winter and Spring of 2007. For the following year, Steve and I continuously revised the paper, but never got to submit it to a journal together. When Steve passed away, I updated the paper with new data and analysis, while keeping the paper in the spirit of the theory and ideas that we developed back in 2007. In this process, I received valuable feedback from Peter Thompson, Olav Sorenson, and Guido Buenstorf.
We study possible motivations for co-entrepenurial couples to start up a joint firm, using a sample of 1,069 Danish couples that established a joint enterprise between 2001 and 2010. We compare their pre-entry characteristics, firm performance and post-dissolution private and financial outcomes with a selected set of comparable firms and couples. We find evidence that couples often establish a business together because one spouse – most commonly the female – has limited outside opportunities in the labor market. However, the financial benefits for each of the spouses, and especially the female, are larger in co-entrepreneurial firms, both during the life of the business and post-dissolution. The start-up of co-entrepreneurial firms seems therefore a sound investment in the human capital of both spouses as well as in the reduction of income ine-quality in the household. We find no evidence of non-pecuniary benefits or costs of co-entrepreneurship.
Studies have consistently found that entrepreneurs who enter industries in which they have prior experience as employees perform better than others. We nevertheless know relatively little about what accounts for these differences. The presumed explanation has generally been that these entrepreneurs benefit from the knowledge that they gained in their former jobs. But they might also differ from other entrepreneurs on a variety of other dimensions: Preferential access to resources or differing motivations, for example, may account for their decisions to enter known industries instead of new ones. Combining novel data from a representative survey of entrepreneurs in Denmark with a matched employer- employee database of all residents in Denmark, we examined how entrepreneurs with prior industry experience differed from those without and the extent to which these differences could account for the performance premium associated with prior industry experience. We found that those with industry experience came from younger, smaller and more profitable firms, and that they recruited more experienced employees, worked harder and placed less value on having flexible hours. The recruitment of more experienced employees and the greater effort exerted appeared to account for at least some of the performance advantage associated with prior industry experience.
As the percentage of wives outearning their husbands grows, the traditional social norm of the male breadwinner is challenged. The upward income comparison of the husband may cause psychological distress that affects both partners’ mental and physical health in ways that impact decisions on marriage, divorce, and careers. This paper studies this impact through sexual and mental health problems. Using wage and prescription medication data from Denmark, we implement a regression discontinuity design to show that men outearned by their wives are more likely to use erectile dysfunction (ED) medication than their male breadwinner counterparts, even when this inequality is small. Breadwinner wives suffer increased insomnia/anxiety medication usage, with similar effects for men. We find no effects for unmarried couples or for men who earned less than their fiancée prior to marriage. Our results suggest that social norms play important roles in dictating how individuals respond to upward social comparisons.
Entrepreneurs, even more than employees, tend to locate in regions in which they have deep roots (“home” regions). Here, we examine the performance implications of these choices. Whereas one might expect entrepreneurs to perform better in these regions because of their richer endowments of regionally embedded social capital, they might also perform worse if their location choices rather reflect a preference for spending time with family and friends. We examine this question using comprehensive data on Danish start-ups. Ventures perform better—survive longer and generate greater annual profits and cash flows—when located in regions in which their founders have lived longer. This effect appears substantial, similar in size to the value of prior experience in the industry (i.e., to being a spin-off).
Motivated by a growing literature in the social sciences suggesting that the transition to fatherhood has a profound effect on men’s values, we study how the wages of employees change after a male chief executive officer (CEO) has children, using comprehensive panel data on the employees, CEOs, and families of CEOs in all but the smallest Danish firms between 1996 and 2006. We find that (a) a male CEO generally pays his employees less generously after fathering a child, (b) the birth of a daughter has a less negative influence on wages than does the birth of a son and has a positive influence if the daughter is the CEO’s first, and (c) the wages of female employees are less adversely affected than are those of male employees and positively affected by the CEO’s first child of either gender. We also find that male CEOs pay themselves more after fathering a child, especially after fathering a son. These results are consistent with a desire by the CEO to husband more resources for his family after fathering a child and the psychological priming of the CEO’s generosity after the birth of his first daughter and specifically toward women after the birth of his first child of either gender.
Short description of portfolio item number 1
Short description of portfolio item number 2
Published in Journal 1, 2009
This paper is about the number 1. The number 2 is left for future work.
Recommended citation: Your Name, You. (2009). "Paper Title Number 1." Journal 1. 1(1). http://academicpages.github.io/files/paper1.pdf
Published in Journal 1, 2010
This paper is about the number 2. The number 3 is left for future work.
Recommended citation: Your Name, You. (2010). "Paper Title Number 2." Journal 1. 1(2). http://academicpages.github.io/files/paper2.pdf
Published in Journal 1, 2015
This paper is about the number 3. The number 4 is left for future work.
Recommended citation: Your Name, You. (2015). "Paper Title Number 3." Journal 1. 1(3). http://academicpages.github.io/files/paper3.pdf
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This is a description of your conference proceedings talk, note the different field in type. You can put anything in this field.
PhD course (mandatory), Aarhus BSS, Department of Management, 2019
I taught this course with John Thøgersen and Tünde Cserpes from 2016 to 2019 at Department of Management, Aarhus University.