TUT Economic Research Series

The TUT Economic Research Series comprises working papers and research briefs based on research from the Department of Finance and Economics, Tallinn University of Technology. Working papers are full-length papers issued to disseminate research results and to seek feedback. Research briefs are short papers in either English or Estonian (with an abstract in both languages) that make available early research findings, survey results or contributions on economic policy issues.



TUTECON: Research Brief No. RB-2017/16


Who has a better chance of getting higher salaries among creative R&D employees?
Heili Hein, Aaro Hazak, Kadri Männasoo

It is a known fact from previous studies that on average, women earn less than men. Although the size of the gender pay gap differs from country to country, this statement is true almost everywhere. This brief study aims to contribute to the discussion on the gender pay gap by examining the earnings of a specific demographic – Estonian creative R&D employees. Not surprisingly, we discovered that gender is an important and statistically significant driver of salary levels with women being less likely than men to receive higher levels of salaries. In addition, we find that age is a further statistically significant determinant of salary levels. The effect of age on earnings forms an inverse-U-shape with younger and older employees having a lower likelihood of earning higher salaries compared to their middle-aged colleagues.

Issued: 2017-09-04

TUTECON: Research Brief No. RB-2017/15


Long working days and falling asleep at work – issues in R&D work efficiency
Erve Sõõru, Aaro Hazak, Marit Rebane

Excessive daytime sleepiness is a major problem in the modern 24/7 society. In our study among Estonian creative R&D employees, we sought to investigate the links between work arrangements, duration of the working day and daytime sleepiness. The average duration of the working day among our sample of 153 creative R&D employees is as long as 10 hours – considerably more than the statutory eight hours. As might be expected, the more working hours and the less sleeping hours, the more serious the daytime sleepiness problem is. Moreover, we find that employees that have the flexibility to choose when they work (and where they work) experience less daytime sleepiness, and also feel that their sleep is significantly less disturbed compared to peers with more rigid work arrangements. Flexitime and distance work may therefore help considerably in reducing work-related daytime sleepiness.

Issued: 2017-09-04

TUTECON: Research Brief No. RB-2017/14


Learning from abroad: Export versus foreign ownership
Kadri Männasoo, Heili Hein

Companies engaged in innovation and research and development (R&D) are often engaged in business on an international scale and their success is critically dependent on international R&D networking and the ability to absorb new knowledge. Foreign ownership, joint ventures and trade are among the channels that enable companies to learn from abroad. This brief analysis aims to describe these learning patterns and look for associations between R&D engagement and foreign interactions. Using data from eleven Central and Eastern European countries for the years 2007-2009 and 2012-2014 reveals that exporting is the only foreign channel that has a clear positive relationship with R&D engagement.

Issued: 2017-09-04

TUTECON: Research Brief No. RB-2017/13


Fixed-term contracts – a turnoff for R&D employees
Aaro Hazak

Fixed-term employment contracts are very common in the current project-based era. Our research group has been seeking to find out how fixed versus permanent contracts link to how Estonian R&D employee perceive their wellbeing, tiredness and sleepiness. We found that the happiness of those working with fixed-term contracts is significantly lower – both in terms of current happiness and potential happiness looking forward. Moreover, employees with fixed-term contracts appeared to be considerably more tired and experience greater levels of daytime sleepiness. We did not find, however, any significant differences in the perceived work results of R&D employees with fixed-term contracts compared to those with permanent contracts. Employers as well as R&D governance bodies should keep in mind the adverse effects that fixed-term contracts may have on individual wellbeing.

Issued: 2017-09-04

TUTECON: Research Brief No. RB-2017/12


Sitting at a desk at work makes creative employees tired
Viive Pille, Viiu Tuulik, Aaro Hazak

We seek to identify how working hours spent at the workplace relate to work outcomes and the tiredness of the employee. Our study covers Estonian creative R&D employees – product developers, IT developers as well as academic and applied researchers. It appears that the greater the share of working time spent at the workplace, the more tired employees feel. Furthermore, the more time the employee does his or her work at the office, the more they perceive the results of the work as lower. Tiredness may be related to the obligation to do the work in a place and at a time that does not coincide with the employee’s creative mood. In view of these results, employers may wish to consider whether sitting at a desk at work for a fixed number of hours is the best way to organise the work of creative employees.

Issued: 2017-09-04
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