Last October 30th, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid organized the 5th Madrid Work & Organizations Symposium in Puerta de Toledo. The Symposium, an annual conference organized in collaboration with IESE and IE Business School, invites top scholars from all around the world to present their own state-of-the-art research on work and organizations. This year, we have hosted Roberto Fernandez (MIT), Vicente Salas (University of Zaragoza) and Guido Friebel (Goethe University, Frankfurt).
Prof. Roberto Fernández has extensive experience in field research in the areas of organizations, social networks, and race and gender stratification. He presented the results of research with Santiago Campero on whether market competition for candidates reduces discrimination in hiring. Using data on hiring practices by 491 firms in the high tech sector during the 2008-2012 time period, they find a preference for white candidates that is lessened when market competition for candidates is high. African American workers, who do not seem to comparatively benefit from candidate shortages, are the exception to this pattern.
Prof. Vicente Salas’ area of expertise is the economic analysis of organizations. He has authored important studies on the human resource and financial strategies of Spanish firms. On this occasion, he presented a study on the link between occupational choice, the internal organization of firms and resulting income inequality. Among the implication of his analysis, he described how the tendency towards more decentralized organizations may lead to an overall reduction in income inequality (lower Gini index) but at the expense of increasing the share of top 1%. On the other hand, a minimum wage regulation does not reduce overall income inequality when taking into account the loss in income of low skilled individuals that are excluded from working as employees.
The third participant, Prof. Guido Friebel, is a Professor of Human Resource Management at Goethe University in Frankfurt, with widespread expertise in the analysis internal careers, mentoring and training, communication structures, teams, and monitoring. He presented the results of a randomized experiment addressing the effects of pay on productivity. The study documents evidence of the productivity change following the introduction of a team bonus in (randomly chosen) half of the 193 bakery shops of a German retail chain. The corresponding increases in sales and profits were channeled through increased operational efficiency and dropped substantially if part of the shop workforce was not affected by the bonus.
For more information of the activities of the Madrid Work & Organizations Group, you can visit: http://www.jaimeortega.net/workshops.htm