NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Human Resource Management and Productivity

Nicholas Bloom, John Van Reenen

NBER Working Paper No. 16019
Issued in May 2010
NBER Program(s):   IO   LS   PR

In this handbook of labor economics chapter we examine the relationship between Human Resource Management (HRM) and productivity. HRM includes incentive pay (individual and group) as well as many non-pay aspects of the employment relationship such as matching (hiring and firing) and work organization (e.g. teams, autonomy). We place HRM more generally within the literature on management practices and productivity. We start with some facts on levels and trends of both HRM and productivity and the main economic theories of HRM. We look at some of the determinants of HRM – risk, competition, ownership and regulation. The largest section analyses the impact of HRM on productivity emphasizing issues of methodology, data and results (from micro-econometric studies). We conclude briefly with suggestions of avenues for future frontier work.

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