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The Value of Bosses

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

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18317.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18317.

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Date of creation: Aug 2012
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18317
Note: LS
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