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The Value of Bosses

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  • Edward P. Lazear
  • Kathryn L. Shaw
  • Christopher T. Stanton

Abstract

How and by how much do supervisors enhance worker productivity? Using a company-based data set on the productivity of technology-based services workers, we estimate supervisor effects and find them to be large. Replacing a boss who is in the lower 10% of boss quality with one who is in the upper 10% of boss quality increases a team's total output by more than adding one worker to a nine-member team would. Workers assigned to better bosses are less likely to leave the firm. A separate normalization implies that the average boss is about 1.75 times as productive as the average worker.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher T. Stanton, 2015. "The Value of Bosses," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(4), pages 823-861.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlabec:doi:10.1086/681097
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. KURODA Sachiko & YAMAMOTO Isamu, 2016. "Good Boss, Bad Boss, Workers' Mental Health and Productivity: Evidence from Japan," Discussion papers 16101, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Mario Macis & Fabiano Schivardi, 2016. "Exports and Wages: Rent Sharing, Workforce Composition, or Returns to Skills?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 945-978.
    3. Börsch-Supan, Axel & Weiss, Matthias, 2016. "Productivity and age: Evidence from work teams at the assembly line," The Journal of the Economics of Ageing, Elsevier, vol. 7(C), pages 30-42.
    4. Anders Frederiksen & Odile Poulsen, 2016. "Income Inequality: The Consequences Of Skill-Upgrading When Firms Have Hierarchical Organizational Structures," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1224-1239, April.
    5. Vera Rocha & Mirjam van Praag, 2016. "How do Entrepreneurial Bosses influence their Employees' Future Entrepreneurship Choices?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 16-110/VII, Tinbergen Institute.
    6. Erik Grönqvist & Erik Lindqvist, 2016. "The Making of a Manager: Evidence from Military Officer Training," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(4), pages 869-898.
    7. Thomas (T.L.P.R.) Peeters & Stefan Szymanski & Marko Terviö, 2017. "The inefficient advantage of experience in the market for football managers," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 17-116/VII, Tinbergen Institute.

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