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In the Wrong Hands: Complementarities, Resource Allocation, and TFP

  • Simeon Alder


    (Department of Economics, University of Notre Dame)

I explore mismatch between the attributes of projects and the managers that run them as a source of variation in aggregate output and total factor productivity(TFP). The model parameters are calibrated to match observations on the size distribution of U.S. manufacturing firms, the share and distribution of managerial compensation, and aggregate moments in the national accounts. Quantitatively, even minor deviations from efficient (assortative) matching can have sizeable effects on output and productivity. In addition, the gains associated with the dissolution of non-assortative project-manager pairs are of the same order ofmagnitude as those generated by the elimination of idiosyncratic distortions in Restuccia and Rogerson (2008) or Hsieh and Klenow (2009). “Cronyism”, where key managerial positions are allocated on the basis of political connections rather than talent, imposes a substantial burden on economic welfare and the model can reconcile the seemingly contradictory evidence from numerous case studies with recent contributions to the assignment literature.

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Paper provided by University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 018.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2010
Date of revision: Nov 2012
Handle: RePEc:nod:wpaper:018
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  1. Caselli, Francesco & Gennaioli, Nicola, 2003. "Dynastic Management," CEPR Discussion Papers 3767, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Bebchuk, Lucian A. & Cohen, Alma, 2005. "The costs of entrenched boards," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 409-433, November.
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  6. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian & Alvaro Riascos & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2006. "Latin America in the rearview mirror," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Sep.
  7. Baker, G.P. & Jensen, M.C. & Murphy, K.J., 1988. "Compensation And Incentives: Practice Vs. Theory," Papers 88-05, Rochester, Business - Managerial Economics Research Center.
  8. Xavier Gabaix & Augustin Landier, 2008. "Why Has CEO Pay Increased So Much?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(1), pages 49-100, 02.
  9. Diego Restuccia & Dennis Tao Yang & Xiaodong Zhu, 2003. "Agriculture and Aggregate Productivity: A Quantitative Cross-Country Analysis," Working Papers diegor-03-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  10. Becker, Gary S, 1973. "A Theory of Marriage: Part I," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 813-46, July-Aug..
  11. Kremer, Michael, 1993. "The O-Ring Theory of Economic Development," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 108(3), pages 551-75, August.
  12. Eisfeldt, Andrea L. & Kuhnen, Camelia M., 2013. "CEO turnover in a competitive assignment framework," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 351-372.
  13. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker Than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116, February.
  14. Ostroy, Joseph M, 1984. "A Reformulation of the Marginal Productivity Theory of Distribution," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 599-630, May.
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