Over the last decade the World Management Survey (WMS) has collected firm-level management
practices data across multiple sectors and countries. The authors developed the survey to try to explain the
large and persistent total factor productivity (TFP) differences across firms and countries.
This review paper discusses what has been learned empirically and theoretically from the WMS and other recent
work on management practices. Their preliminary results suggest that about a quarter of cross-country
and within-country TFP gaps can be accounted for by management practices. Management seems to
matter both qualitatively and quantitatively for performance at the level of the firm and the nation.
Competition, governance, human capital, and informational frictions help account for the variation
in management. They make some suggestions for both policy and future research.
This research was funded under the Private Enterprise Development in Low-Income Countries (PEDL) Programme
Bloom, N., Lemos, R., Sadun, R., Scur, D. and Van Reenen, J. (2014). The New Empirical Economics of Management. Journal of the European Economic Association, 12: 835–876. doi:10.1111/jeea.12094
The New Empirical Economics of Management