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Managers and Productivity Differences

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  • Nezih Guner

    ()

  • Andrii Parkhomenko

    ()

  • Gustavo Ventura

    ()

Abstract

We document that for a group of high-income countries (i) mean earnings of managers tend to grow faster than for non managers over the life cycle; (ii) the earnings growth of managers relative to non managers over the life cycle is positively correlated with output per worker. We interpret this evidence through the lens of an equilibrium life-cycle, span-of-control model where managers invest in their skills. We parameterize this model with U.S. observations on managerial earnings, the size-distribution of plants and macroeconomic aggregates. We then quantify the relative importance of exogenous productivity differences, and the size-dependent distortions emphasized in the misallocation literature. Our findings indicate that such distortions are critical to generate the observed differences in the growth of relative managerial earnings across countries. Thus, observations on the relative earnings growth of managers become natural targets to discipline the level of distortions. Distortions that halve the growth of relative managerial earnings (a move from the U.S. to Italy in our data), lead to a reduction in managerial quality of 27% and to a reduction in output of about 7% – more than half of the observed gap between the U.S. and Italy. We find that crosscountry variation in distortions accounts for about 42% of the cross-country variation in output per worker gap with the U.S.

Suggested Citation

  • Nezih Guner & Andrii Parkhomenko & Gustavo Ventura, 2015. "Managers and Productivity Differences," LIS Working papers 634, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lis:liswps:634
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. José-María Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2016. "Firing Costs, Misallocation, and Aggregate Productivity," NBER Working Papers 23008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Jose Maria Da-Rocha & Marina Mendes Tavares & Diego Restuccia, 2014. "Policy Distortions and Aggregate Productivity with Endogenous Establishment-Level Productivity," Working Papers tecipa-523, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    3. Prettner, Klaus & Strulik, Holger, 2018. "Trade and productivity: The family connection redux," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 276-291.
    4. Stephen Ayerst, 2016. "Idiosyncratic Distortions and Technology Adoption," Working Papers tecipa-571, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    5. Amaia Iza, 2016. "Entrepreneurial skills, technological progress and firm growth," EcoMod2016 9469, EcoMod.
    6. Diego Restuccia, 2018. "Misallocation and Aggregate Productivity across Time and Space," Working Papers tecipa-608, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    7. Marko Köthenbürger & Michael Stimmelmayr, 2015. "The Efficiency Costs of Dividend Taxation with Managerial Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 5569, CESifo Group Munich.
    8. Fabiano Schivardi & Tom Schmitz, 2018. "The IT Revolution and Southern Europe’s Two Lost Decades," EIEF Working Papers Series 1805, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Mar 2018.
    9. Fabiano Schivardi & Tom Schmitz, 2018. "The IT Revolution and Southern Europe's Two Lost Decades," Working Papers 624, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    10. Ufuk Akcigit & Harun Alp & Michael Peters, 2016. "Lack of Selection and Limits to Delegation: Firm Dynamics in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 21905, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Marti Mestieri & Johanna Schauer & Robert Townsend, 2017. "Human Capital Acquisition and Occupational Choice: Implications for Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 25, pages 151-186, April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Managers; Management; Practices; Distortions; Size; Skill Investments; Productivity Differences;

    JEL classification:

    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

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