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The new empirical economics of management

Apr 2014
Working Paper
13-031
By  Nicholas Bloom, Renata Lemos, Raffaella Sadun, Daniela Scur, John Van Reenen
Over the last decade the World Management Survey (WMS) has collected firmlevel 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.