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The Value of Bosses

  • Edward P. Lazear


    (Stanford University)

  • Kathryn L. Shaw


    (Stanford University)

  • Christopher T. Stanton


    (University of Utah)

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 about the same amount as would adding one worker to a nine member team. This implies that the average boss is about 1.75 times as productive as the average worker. Additionally, boss’s primary activity is teaching skills that persist.

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Paper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 12-001.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:12-001
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