The New Empirical Economics of Management

Journal Article
Published on 1 August 2014


Over the last decade the World Management Survey (WMS) has collected firm-level management practices data across multiple sectors and countries. Bloom, Lemos, Sadun, Scur, and Van Reenen developed the survey to try to explain the large and persistent TFP differences across firms and countries. This review paper, published in the Journal of the European Economic Association in 2014, 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. Competition, governance, human capital and informational frictions help account for the variation in management.


Nick Bloom

Stanford University

Renata Lemos

World Bank

Raffaella Sadun

Harvard University

Daniela Scur

Cornell University

John Van Reenen

London School of Economics and Political Science