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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, 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
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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Stephan HUMPERT, 2016. "What Workers Want: Job Satisfaction In The U.S," Management Research and Practice, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 8(1), pages 39-45, March.
    4. Geerts, Jaason M. & Goodall, Amanda H. & Agius, Stevie, 2020. "Evidence-based leadership development for physicians: A systematic literature review," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 246(C).
    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. David J. Deming, 2017. "The Growing Importance of Social Skills in the Labor Market," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(4), pages 1593-1640.
    7. Kuroda, Sachiko & Yamamoto, Isamu, 2018. "Good boss, bad boss, workers’ mental health and productivity: Evidence from Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 106-118.
    8. Cruz, Marcio & Bussolo, Maurizio & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2018. "Organizing knowledge to compete," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 1-20.
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    14. Bäker, Agnes & Goodall, Amanda H., 2020. "Feline followers and “umbrella carriers”: Department Chairs’ influence on faculty job satisfaction and quit intentions," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(4).
    15. Carter, Susan Payne & Dudley, Whitney & Lyle, David S. & Smith, John Z., 2019. "Who's the Boss? The effect of strong leadership on employee turnover," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 323-343.
    16. Mironov, Maxim, 2015. "Should one hire a corrupt CEO in a corrupt country?," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(1), pages 29-42.
    17. Daniel Herbold & Heiner Schumacher, 2020. "Relational retention," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(4), pages 490-502, June.
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    22. Amelie Schiprowski, 2020. "The Role of Caseworkers in Unemployment Insurance: Evidence from Unplanned Absences," ECONtribute Discussion Papers Series 016, University of Bonn and University of Cologne, Germany.
    23. Kathryn L. Shaw, 2019. "Bosses matter: The effects of managers on workers’ performance," IZA World of Labor, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), pages 456-456, January.
    24. 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.
    25. Ku, Hyejin, 2019. "The effect of wage subsidies on piece rate workers: Evidence from the Penny Per Pound program in Florida," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 122-134.

    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

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