Boss Competence and Worker Well-Being

39 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2014

See all articles by Benjamin Artz

Benjamin Artz

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - College of Business

Amanda H. Goodall

IZA Institute for the Study of Labor

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Abstract

Nearly all workers have a supervisor or 'boss'. Yet there is almost no published research by economists into how bosses affect the quality of employees' lives. This study offers some of the first formal evidence. First, it is shown that a boss's technical competence is the single strongest predictor of a worker's well-being. Second, we examine equivalent instrumental-variable results. Third, we demonstrate longitudinally that even if a worker stays in the same job and workplace then a newly competent supervisor greatly improves the worker's well-being. Finally, we discuss analytical possibilities, and consider necessary future research.

Keywords: bosses, expert leaders, leadership, job satisfaction, happiness

JEL Classification: I31, J28, M54

Suggested Citation

Artz, Benjamin and Goodall, Amanda H. and Oswald, Andrew J., Boss Competence and Worker Well-Being. IZA Discussion Paper No. 8559, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2514752

Benjamin Artz (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin - Oshkosh - College of Business ( email )

United States

Amanda H. Goodall

IZA Institute for the Study of Labor ( email )

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 5-9
Bonn, 53113
Germany

Andrew J. Oswald

University of Warwick - Department of Economics ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom
523510 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Schaumburg-Lippe-Str. 7 / 9
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

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