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Raffaella Sadun Profile

Raffaella Sadun is the Charles E. Wilson Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. She is director of the NBER’s Organizational Economics Working Group and is affiliated with the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship and Labor Studies Programs. Sadun’s research focuses on managerial and organizational drivers of productivity and growth.  She cofounded large-scale projects to measure management practices and managerial behavior in organizations, such as the World Management Survey, the Executive Time Use Survey, and the first large-scale management survey in hospitals, MOPS-H, conducted in partnership with the US Census Bureau. Her work has helped uncover the extent to which the diffusion of basic management and organizational practices varies across organizations within and across countries, and how this heterogeneity affects productivity. Sadun has examined the complementarity between technology adoption and management practices in production, and is currently studying the effectiveness of large-scale digital training investments in private and public sector organizations. Sadun is codirector of the HBS Digital Reskilling Lab, and faculty cochair of the Harvard Project on the Workforce. She is the author of articles published in journals such as The Quarterly Journal of EconomicsAmerican Economic Review, and Journal of Political Economy. She served as an economic adviser to the Italian government in 2020 and 2022 and received the honor of Grande Ufficiale dell’Ordine Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana in 2021. Sadun received her PhD in economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.


1. "The Effect of Managers on Systematic Risk,” Schoar A, Yeung K, Zuo L. NBER Working Paper 27487, July 2022; “Managing with Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies,”  Bertrand M, Schoar A. The Q uarterly Journal of Economics 118(4), November 2003, pp. 1169–1208. Go to ⤴︎
2. "Managing the Family Firm: Evidence from CEOs at Work," Bandiera O, Lemos R, Prat A, Sadun R. NBER Working Paper 19722, August 2017, and Review of Financial Studies 31(5), May 2018, pp. 1605–1653; “CEO Behavior and Firm Performance,” Bandiera O, Hansen S, Prat A, Sadun R. NBER Working Paper 23248, and Journal of Political Economy 128(4), April 2020, pp. 1325–1369. Go to ⤴︎
3. The Effective Executive, Drucker P. New York: Harper and Row, 1967; The Nature of Managerial Work, Mintzberg H. New York: Harper and Row, 1973. Go to ⤴︎
4. "What Leaders Really Do,” Kotter J. Harvard Business Review, December 2001. Go to ⤴︎
5. ‘‘Formal and Real Authority in Organizations,’’ Aghion P, Tirole J. Journal of Political Economy 105(1), February 1997, pp. 1–29. Go to ⤴︎
6. "The Organization of Firms across Countries," Bloom N, Sadun R, Van Reenen J. NBER Working Paper 15129, August 2013, and The Quarterly Journal of Economics 127(4), November 2012, pp. 1663–1705. Go to ⤴︎
7. Turbulence, Firm Decentralization, and Growth in Bad Times,” Aghion P, Bloom N, Lucking B, Sadun R, Van Reenen J. NBER Working Paper 23354, October 2017, and American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 13(1), January 2021, pp. 133–169. Go to ⤴︎
8. “How Do CEOs Make Strategy?” Yang M-J, Christensen M, Bloom N, Sadun R, Rivkin J. NBER Working Paper 27952, December 2020. Go to ⤴︎
9. "The Demand for Executive Skills," Hansen S, Ramdas T, Sadun R, Fuller J. NBER Working Paper 28959, June 2021. Go to ⤴︎
10.  “The Growing Importance of Decision-Making on the Job,” Deming D. NBER Working Paper 28733, April 2021; “The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market,” The Quarterly Journal of Economics 132(4), November 2017, pp. 1593–1640. Go to ⤴︎

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