The new empirical economics of management
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.