The Value of Bosses

44 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2012 Last revised: 14 Jun 2014

See all articles by Edward P. Lazear

Edward P. Lazear

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Kathryn L. Shaw

Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christopher Stanton

Harvard University - Business School (HBS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 13, 2014

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

Lazear, Edward P. and Shaw, Kathryn L. and Stanton, Christopher, The Value of Bosses (June 13, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2131572 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2131572

Edward P. Lazear

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Kathryn L. Shaw

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Christopher Stanton (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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