Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design

Contents:

Author Info

  • Susan Athey
  • Scott Stern

Abstract

This paper studies alternative empirical strategies for estimating the effects of organization design practices on performance, as well as the factors which determine organizational design, in a cross-section of firms. Our economic model is based on a firm where multiple organizational design practices are en endogenously determined, and these organizational design practices affect output through an 'organizational design production function.' The econometric model includes unobserved exogenous variation in the costs and returns to each of the individual practices. The model is used to evaluate how different econometric strategies for testing theories about complementarity can be interpreted under alternative assumptions about the economic and statistical environment. We identify plausible hypotheses about the joint distribution of the unobservables under which several different approaches from the existing literature will yield biased and inconsistent estimates. We show that the sign of the bias depends on two factors: whether the organzational design practices are complements, and the correlation between the unobserved returns to each practice. We find several sets of conditions under which the sign of the bias can be determined, and we provide economic interpretations. Our analysis shows that for a particular set of hypotheses, a variety of different procedures may all yield qualitatively similar biases, presenting a challenge for the identification of complementarity. We then propose a structural approach, which is based on a system of simultaneous equations describing productivity and the demand for organizational design practices. As long as exogenous variables are observed which are uncorrelated with the unobserved returns to practices, the structural parameters are identified, yielding consistent tests for complementarity as well as the cross-equation restrictions implied by static optimization of the organizatin's profit function.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6600.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6600.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jun 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6600

Note: PR
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1998. "Evaluating the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 6542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James Heckman, 1997. "Instrumental Variables: A Study of Implicit Behavioral Assumptions Used in Making Program Evaluations," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(3), pages 441-462.
  3. Thompson, T.S., 1989. "Identification Of Semiparametric Discrete Choice Models," Papers 249, Minnesota - Center for Economic Research.
  4. Gourieroux, Christian & Holly, Alberto & Monfort, Alain, 1981. "Kuhn-Tucker, likelihood ratio and Wald tests for nonlinear models with inequality constraints on the parameters," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 166-166, May.
  5. Erin Anderson & David C. Schmittlein, 1984. "Integration of the Sales Force: An Empirical Examination," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 15(3), pages 385-395, Autumn.
  6. Colombo, Massimo G & Mosconi, Rocco, 1995. "Complementarity and Cumulative Learning Effects in the Early Diffusion of Multiple Technologies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 13-48, March.
  7. Christensen, Laurits R & Jorgenson, Dale W & Lau, Lawrence J, 1973. "Transcendental Logarithmic Production Frontiers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 55(1), pages 28-45, February.
  8. McFadden, Daniel & Ruud, Paul A, 1994. "Estimation by Simulation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 591-608, November.
  9. Nathalie Greenan & Dominique Guellec, 1998. "Firm Organization, Technology And Performance: An Empirical Study," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(4), pages 313-347.
  10. Kodde, David A & Palm, Franz C, 1986. "Wald Criteria for Jointly Testing Equality and Inequality Restriction s," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1243-48, September.
  11. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "The Economics of Modern Manufacturing: Technology, Strategy, and Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 511-28, June.
  12. Matzkin, Rosa L, 1992. "Nonparametric and Distribution-Free Estimation of the Binary Threshold Crossing and the Binary Choice Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 239-70, March.
  13. Holmstrom, Bengt & Milgrom, Paul, 1994. "The Firm as an Incentive System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 972-91, September.
  14. Wolak, Frank A, 1991. "The Local Nature of Hypothesis Tests Involving Inequality Constraints in Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 981-95, July.
  15. McFadden, Daniel, 1989. "A Method of Simulated Moments for Estimation of Discrete Response Models without Numerical Integration," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(5), pages 995-1026, September.
  16. Heckman, James J & Honore, Bo E, 1990. "The Empirical Content of the Roy Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(5), pages 1121-49, September.
  17. Arora, Ashish, 1996. "Testing for complementarities in reduced-form regressions: A note," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 51-55, January.
  18. John MacDuffie, 1995. "Human resource bundles and manufacturing performance: Organizational logic and flexible production systems in the world auto industry," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 197-221, January.
  19. Wolak, Frank A., 1989. "Testing inequality constraints in linear econometric models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 205-235, June.
  20. Athey, S, 1996. "Comparative Statics under Uncertainty : Single Crossing Properties and Log-Supermodularity," Working papers 96-22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  21. Rosa L. Matzkin, 1990. "Least Concavity and the Distribution-Free Estimation of Non-Parametric Concave Functions," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 958, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  22. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1990. "Complementarity and External Linkages: The Strategies of the Large Firms in Biotechnology," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 38(4), pages 361-79, June.
  23. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  24. Susan Helper, 1995. "Supplier Relations and Adoption of New Technology: Results of Survey Research in the U.S. Auto Industry," NBER Working Papers 5278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Heckman, James J, 1974. "Shadow Prices, Market Wages, and Labor Supply," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 42(4), pages 679-94, July.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6600. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.