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Does competition raise productivity through improving management quality?

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  • Van Reenen, John

Abstract

A classic question in industrial organization is whether competition raises productivity and if so, through what mechanism? I discuss recent empirical evidence from both large-scale databases and specific industries which suggests that tougher competition does indeed raise productivity and one of the main mechanisms is through improving management practices. To establish this, I report on new research seeking to quantify management. I relate this to theoretical perspectives on the economics of competition and management, arguing that management should be seen at least in part as a transferable technology. A range of recent econometric studies suggests that (i) competition increases management quality and (ii) improved management quality boosts productivity.

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  • Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Does competition raise productivity through improving management quality?," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 306-316, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:29:y:2011:i:3:p:306-316
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    Cited by:

    1. Maloney, William F. & Sarrias, Mauricio, 2017. "Convergence to the managerial frontier," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 284-306.
    2. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2015. "Competition, work rules and productivity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 136-149.
    3. Fedderke, J.W. & Goldschmidt, M., 2015. "Does massive funding support of researchers work?: Evaluating the impact of the South African research chair funding initiative," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 467-482.
    4. Broszeit, Sandra & Fritsch, Ursula & Görg, Holger & Laible, Marie-Christine, 2016. "Management Practices and Productivity in Germany," IZA Discussion Papers 10370, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Adel Ben Youssef & Ludivine Martin & Nessrine Omrani, 2014. "The Complementarities between Information Technologies Use, New Organizational Practices and Employees' Contextual Performance: Evidence from Europe in 2005 and 2010," Revue d'économie politique, Dalloz, vol. 124(4), pages 493-504.
    6. Bischoff, Oliver & Buchwald, Achim, 2016. "Horizontal and Vertical Firm Networks, Corporate Performance and Product Market Competition," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145730, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Antonelli Cristiano & Fassio Claudio, 2012. "Academic knowledge and economic growth: are scientific fields all alike," Department of Economics and Statistics Cognetti de Martiis LEI & BRICK - Laboratory of Economics of Innovation "Franco Momigliano", Bureau of Research in Innovation, Complexity and Knowledge, Collegio 201203, University of Turin.
    8. Beerkens, Maarja, 2013. "Facts and fads in academic research management: The effect of management practices on research productivity in Australia," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(9), pages 1679-1693.
    9. Buchwald, Achim, 2015. "Competition, outside directors and executive turnover: Implications for corporate governance in the EU," DICE Discussion Papers 174, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).
    10. Broszeit, Sandra & Fritsch, Ursula & Görg, Holger & Laible, Marie-Christine, 2016. "Management practices and productivity in Germany (Managementpraktiken und Produktivität in Deutschland)," IAB Discussion Paper 201632, Institut für Arbeitsmarkt- und Berufsforschung (IAB), Nürnberg [Institute for Employment Research, Nuremberg, Germany].
    11. Alejandro Robinson Cortés, 2013. "Eficiencia Interna y Competencia de Mercado en Oligopolio," Undergraduate theses (Spanish) tesl001, CIDE, División de Economía.
    12. Bischoff, Oliver & Buchwald, Achim, 2015. "Horizontal and Vertical Firm Networks, Corporate Performance and Product Market Competition," MPRA Paper 63413, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Bloom, Nicholas & Sadun, Raffaella & Lemos, Renata & Scur, Daniela & Van Reenen, John, 2014. "The new empirical economics of management," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58009, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Adel Ben Youssef & Ludivine Martin & Nessrine Omrani, 2014. "The complementarities between Infomation and Communication Technologies Use, New Organizational Practices and Employee's Contextual Performance: Evidence from Europe in 2005 and 2010," Post-Print halshs-01068238, HAL.
    15. Werner Hölzl, 2012. "Mobility Barriers and the Speed of Market Selection," WIFO Working Papers 437, WIFO.
    16. Buchwald, Achim & Thorwarth, Susanne, 2015. "Outside directors on the board, competition and innovation," DICE Discussion Papers 173, University of Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE).

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    Keywords

    Management Productivity Organization;

    JEL classification:

    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • M2 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Economics
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes

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