IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/18317.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Value of Bosses

Author

Listed:
  • 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, supervisor effects are estimated and found 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 would adding one worker to a nine member team. 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, 2012. "The Value of Bosses," NBER Working Papers 18317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18317
    Note: LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18317.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Lazear, Edward P & Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "Rank-Order Tournaments as Optimum Labor Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 841-864, October.
    2. Gibbons, Robert & Katz, Lawrence F, 1991. "Layoffs and Lemons," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(4), pages 351-380, October.
    3. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2013. "Match Quality, Worker Productivity, and Worker Mobility: Direct Evidence from Teachers," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(4), pages 1096-1116, October.
    4. Alexandre Mas & Enrico Moretti, 2009. "Peers at Work," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(1), pages 112-145, March.
    5. Edward P. Lazear & Kathryn L. Shaw & Christopher Stanton, 2016. "Making Do with Less: Working Harder during Recessions," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(S1), pages 333-360.
    6. Lawrence M. Kahn, 1993. "Managerial Quality, Team Success, and Individual Player Performance in Major League Baseball," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 46(3), pages 531-547, April.
    7. David A. Matsa & Amalia R. Miller, 2013. "A Female Style in Corporate Leadership? Evidence from Quotas," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(3), pages 136-169, July.
    8. Bernd Frick & Robert Simmons, 2008. "The impact of managerial quality on organizational performance: evidence from German soccer," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(7), pages 593-600.
    9. Marianne Bertrand & Antoinette Schoar, 2003. "Managing with Style: The Effect of Managers on Firm Policies," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1169-1208.
    10. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    11. Hermalin, Benjamin E, 1998. "Toward an Economic Theory of Leadership: Leading by Example," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(5), pages 1188-1206, December.
    12. Kuhn, Peter J. & Weinberger, Catherine, 2002. "Leadership Skills and Wages," IZA Discussion Papers 482, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    13. Armin Falk & Andrea Ichino, 2006. "Clean Evidence on Peer Effects," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(1), pages 39-58, January.
    14. Valerie Smeets & Michael Waldman & Frederic Warzynski, 2019. "Performance, Career Dynamics, and Span of Control," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 1183-1213.
    15. Edward P. Lazear, 2000. "Performance Pay and Productivity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1346-1361, December.
    16. Shaw, Kathryn & Lazear, Edward P., 2008. "Tenure and output," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(4), pages 704-723, August.
    17. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864.
    18. Lex Borghans & Bas ter Weel & Bruce A. Weinberg, 2008. "Interpersonal Styles and Labor Market Outcomes," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(4).
    19. Bennedsen, Morten & Perez-Gonzalez, Francisco & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2007. "Do CEOs matter?," CEI Working Paper Series 2006-21, Center for Economic Institutions, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    20. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn Shaw, 2003. "Beyond Incentive Pay: Insiders' Estimates of the Value of Complementary Human Resource Management Practices," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(1), pages 155-180, Winter.
    21. Edward P. Lazear, 2004. "The Peter Principle: A Theory of Decline," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(S1), pages 141-163, February.
    22. Morten Bennedsen & Kasper Meisner Nielsen & Francisco Perez-Gonzalez & Daniel Wolfenzon, 2007. "Inside the Family Firm: The Role of Families in Succession Decisions and Performance," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(2), pages 647-691.
    23. Borghans, L. & Golsteyn, B.H.H., 2007. "Are courses chosen to reduce skill-deficiencies? an experimental approach," ROA Research Memorandum 001, Maastricht University, Research Centre for Education and the Labour Market (ROA).
    24. Abowd, John M. & Kramarz, Francis, 1999. "Econometric analyses of linked employer-employee data," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 53-74, March.
    25. John M. Abowd & Robert H. Creecy & Francis Kramarz, 2002. "Computing Person and Firm Effects Using Linked Longitudinal Employer-Employee Data," Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Technical Papers 2002-06, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    26. Garicano, Luis & Hubbard, Thomas N, 2007. "Managerial Leverage Is Limited by the Extent of the Market: Hierarchies, Specialization, and the Utilization of Lawyers' Human Capital," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 1-43, February.
    27. Bennedsen, Morten & Pérez-González, Francisco & Wolfenzon, Daniel, 2007. "Do CEOs Matter?," Working Papers 13-2007, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
    28. Peter Dawson & Stephen Dobson & Bill Gerrard, 2000. "Estimating Coaching Efficiency in Professional Team Sports: Evidence from English Association Football," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 47(4), pages 399-421, September.
    29. Kandel, Eugene & Lazear, Edward P, 1992. "Peer Pressure and Partnerships," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 801-817, August.
    30. Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
    31. Julio Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 2000. "Visionaries, Managers, and Strategic Direction," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(4), pages 693-716, Winter.
    32. Sherwin Rosen, 1982. "Authority, Control, and the Distribution of Earnings," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 13(2), pages 311-323, Autumn.
    33. Robert E. Lucas Jr., 1978. "On the Size Distribution of Business Firms," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 9(2), pages 508-523, Autumn.
    34. Dirk Jenter & Katharina Lewellen & David Denis, 2021. "Performance-Induced CEO Turnover," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 34(2), pages 569-617.
    35. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2011. "Why do leaders matter? A study of expert knowledge in a superstar setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 265-284, March.
    36. Luis Garicano, 2000. "Hierarchies and the Organization of Knowledge in Production," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 108(5), pages 874-904, October.
    37. Bridgewater, Sue & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Goodall, Amanda H., 2011. "Substitution and complementarity between managers and subordinates: Evidence from British football," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 275-286, June.
    38. Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Organization and Inequality in a Knowledge Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1383-1435.
    39. Lazear, Edward P., 2012. "Leadership: A personnel economics approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 92-101.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Lazear, Edward P. & Shaw, Kathryn L., 2014. "The value of bosses," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 60611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Hideo Owan & Shingo Takahashi & Tsuyoshi Tsuru & Katsuhito Uehara, 2014. "Finding good managers: an econometric case study of a large Japanese auto dealership," Working Papers EMS_2014_08, Research Institute, International University of Japan.
    3. Edward P. Lazear, 1995. "Personnel Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262121883, December.
    4. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2011. "Why do leaders matter? A study of expert knowledge in a superstar setting," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(3), pages 265-284, March.
    5. Edward P. Lazear & Paul Oyer, 2012. "Personnel Economics," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    6. Michael Waldman, 2012. "Theory and Evidence in Internal Labor Markets," Introductory Chapters, in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.),The Handbook of Organizational Economics, Princeton University Press.
    7. Oriana Bandiera & Luigi Guiso & Andrea Prat & Raffaella Sadun, 2015. "Matching Firms, Managers, and Incentives," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 33(3), pages 623-681.
    8. Goodall, Amanda H. & Kahn, Lawrence M. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Why Do Leaders Matter? The Role of Expert Knowledge," IZA Discussion Papers 3583, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    9. Gürerk, Özgür & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Rockenbach, Bettina, 2009. "Motivating teammates: The leader's choice between positive and negative incentives," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 591-607, August.
    10. Goodall, Amanda H., 2009. "Highly cited leaders and the performance of research universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1079-1092, September.
    11. Oyer, Paul & Schaefer, Scott, 2011. "Personnel Economics: Hiring and Incentives," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 20, pages 1769-1823, Elsevier.
    12. Elhanan Helpman & Oleg Itskhoki & Stephen Redding, 2010. "Inequality and Unemployment in a Global Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(4), pages 1239-1283, July.
    13. Valerie Smeets & Michael Waldman & Frederic Warzynski, 2019. "Performance, Career Dynamics, and Span of Control," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 1183-1213.
    14. repec:eee:labchp:v:3:y:1999:i:pb:p:2373-2437 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Bloom, Nicholas & Van Reenen, John, 2011. "Human Resource Management and Productivity," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 19, pages 1697-1767, Elsevier.
    16. Bellemare, Charles & Lepage, Patrick & Shearer, Bruce, 2010. "Peer pressure, incentives, and gender: An experimental analysis of motivation in the workplace," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 276-283, January.
    17. Jin, Xin, 2014. "Flattening Firms and Wage Distribution," MPRA Paper 58485, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Lazear, Edward P., 2012. "Leadership: A personnel economics approach," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 92-101.
    19. Laurence Ales & Antonio Andres Bellofatto & Jessie Jiaxu Wang, 2017. "Taxing Atlas: Executive Compensation, Firm Size and Their Impact on Optimal Top Income Tax Rates," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 26, pages 62-90, October.
    20. 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.
    21. Friebel, Guido & Heinz, Matthias & Zubanov, Nick, 2018. "Middle managers, personnel turnover and performance: A long-term field experiment in a retail chain," CEPR Discussion Papers 13125, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • J01 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - General - - - Labor Economics: General
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity
    • J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18317. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.