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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
Contact details of provider: Postal: 434 Flanner Hall, Notre Dame, IN 46556
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  1. Harold L. Cole & Lee E. Ohanian & Alvaro Riascos & James A. Schmitz, Jr., 2004. "Latin America in the Rearview Mirror," NBER Working Papers 11008, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. Baker, George P & Jensen, Michael C & Murphy, Kevin J, 1988. " Compensation and Incentives: Practice vs. Theory," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 43(3), pages 593-616, July.
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  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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