The New Empirical Economics of Management
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.
This paper is based on Van Reenen's FBBVA lectures in the 2013 San Diego AEA and in Madrid. Comments from seminar participants and an anonymous referee have helped improve the paper. WMS has received financial support from the Economic and Social Research Council, the International Growth Center, PEDL, the UK Department of Business and the National Science Foundation. Our partnership with McKinsey and Company (from whom we received no funding) has been essential for the project, in particular Pedro Castro, Stephen Dorgan, John Dowdy and Dennis Layton. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
I worked for McKinsey and company as a management consultant from 2001-2002. I have not received any funding from them after that time.
I am part of the Toulouse Network for Information Technology, which carries out research on IT and productivity. From this network I receive an annual honorarium, which is funded by Microsoft.
I do occasional consulting on management practices for government and policy agencies, like the Canadian Government, the World Bank, the European Union, the British Government, and the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development.
I produced a report in 2008 for the World Economic Forum on management practices in private equity for which I received an honorarium.
I occasionally am a paid speaker at corporate events at which I discuss among other things management practices and policy uncertainty.
Bloom, N. , Lemos, R. , Sadun, R. , Scur, D. and Reenen, J. (2014), JEEA‐FBBVA LECTURE 2013: THE NEW EMPIRICAL ECONOMICS OF MANAGEMENT. Journal of the European Economic Association, 12: 835-876. doi:10.1111/jeea.12094