The New Empirical Economics of Management

Nicholas Bloom, Renata Lemos, Raffaella Sadun, Daniela Scur and John Van Reenen

Harvard Business School Working Paper

2014

Over the last decade the World Management Survey (WMS) has collected firm-level management practices data across multiple sectors and countries. We developed the survey to try to explain the large and persistent TFP differences across firms and countries. This review paper discusses what has been learned empirically and theoretically from the WMS and other recent work on management practices. Our preliminary results suggest that about a quarter of cross-country and within-country TFP gaps can be accounted for by management practices. Management seems to matter both qualitatively and quantitatively. Competition, governance, human capital and informational frictions help account for the variation in management. We make some suggestions for both policy and future research.

Industrialization, Manufacturing and Service Industries, Choice of Technology, Management of Technological Innovation and R&D, Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes, Capitalist Enterprises

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