List of current projects

This is a non-exhaustive list of projects that are currently using the WMS data.

As the WMS data becomes more popular, we often get requests for very similar research questions. We hope that the list below helps researchers see the breadth of work that is already under way using the WMS data, and we hope that this spurs even more unique questions using this dataset.

The list below is non-exhaustive and only includes the most recent requests for data use. We hope to eventually include all projects. If you are currently using the data and don’t see your project here, please do let us know. If your project is complete and you would like it to be removed from this list, please also let us know and send us your working paper so we can add it to our publications list.

Topic: Industrial Organization
Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
Daniela Scur and Renata Lemos Centre for Economic Performance Research fellow All in the family? CEO choice and firm organization In this paper we investigate the relationship between family control and firm organization and performance in the manufacturing sector of primarily emerging economies. To do this we collect a new detailed dataset of the succession history in terms of ownership (who owns the shares) as well as control (who is the CEO) for over 800 firms in Latin America, and Southern Europe. We merge this with a unique dataset on firm performance and organizational structures, including on quality of managerial practices. We exploit exogenous variation in the composition of the family CEO’s children, and use it as an instrumental variable for family ownership and control. To consider mechanisms, we focus on Brazilian firms and merge the Brazilian WMS data with the Brazilian Industrial Survey (PIA) and the employer-employee matched dataset (RAIS). Industrial Organization
Fabiano Schivardi EIEF and LUISS Professor In this project, we argue that the lack of ICT adoption in Italy is due to distortions affecting the managerial efficiency with with Italian firms are run. We argue that as ICT is comlpementary to managers, its impact is muted in an economy where firms are reluctant to hire “outside” managers. Our goal is to write a model that can help us to quantify what share of the productivity slowdown is due to the fact that technological change has been biased towards a factor that is scarce in Italy (as well as other souther European countries): managerial talents. Industrial Organization
Carl Friedrich Kreuser London School of Economics Student The research project aims to identify the differential impact of information and communication technology on firm level productivity with varying managerial quality. The present paper attempts to formalise this result by expanding the Bloom et al (2016) management as technology model by distinguishing management technology from organizational structure and allowing for the interaction of ICT investments along both dimensions. Industrial Organization
Armand Lambert University of Cambridge Student How does competition affect the decentralisation of authority in firms? I would like to look at the delegation of authority in the manager-CEO relationship as well as the worker-manager relationship. I will focus on trying to find a causal relationship between competition and decentralisation. Industrial Organization
Hein Roelfsema Utrecht University Associate Professor We explore the moderation effects of national culture and leadership styles on management practices when assessing the link to business performance. The data used for empirical analyses came from the World Management Survey (WMS) 2004-2014 survey data and Global Leadership and Organizational Behavior Effectiveness (GLOBE) research program. Industrial Organization
Jared D. Smith North Carolina State University Assistant professor of finance When do CEOs delegate merger and acquisition responsibility to other senior managers? Are there differences in merger outcomes when other managers are involved? Industrial Organization
Lars Hovdan Molden Nord University Business School PhD Fellow To what extent are different country institutions affecting performance through various management practices? What are the moderating effects of management practices on performance under different country institutional setups? Industrial Organization
Niklas Herzig Bielefeld University PhD student and research assistant (chair: International Trade) Do firms adjust their operations management, monitoring processes, target setting, human resources management (promotion, training and compensation) or their organizational structure (depth and width) in response to environmental changes? What is the preferred adjustment strategy? How important are these adjustments for the extensive and intensive margins of production? How do these adjustment strategies correlate to the ownership structure of the firm and other firm characteristics (heterogeneous responses across different firm types)? Industrial Organization
Xiaowen Tian School of Business and Governance, Murdoch University, Australia Professor of Management The data are used to examine 1) how management practices affect productivity and, through it, profitability; and 2) how country-level variables, especially institutional variations, influence the management-performance relationship. Industrial Organization
Ellen Hsu University of Oxford MPhil Student I would like to investigate how local labor market might influence family firms decision to hire a professional CEO rather than have a family member be in charge. In particular, I am interested in Asian countries, specifically where rural and urban areas have large socioeconomic differences. Industrial Organization
Valerie Karplus Massachusetts Institute of Technology Assistant Professor I am interested in studying the management-productivity relationship by organization type, where organization type is differentiated on the basis of external accountability relationships, either to the government (in the case of state firms) or to overseas buyers or partial/whole owners (in the case of exporting and foreign invested firms). The research question is: Does the coefficient on management in the production function vary systematically with organization type, and are patterns different between developing and developed countries that vary in form and strength of national institutions? Industrial Organization
Matthew Kidder University of International Business and Economics, Beijing Assistant Professor This project is intended to disentangle a simple measure of entrepreneurial quality and management quality to see if both are jointly influential in determining firm outcomes. Previous work has established the link between managerial quality and outcomes. This study seeks to add more insights about the role of entrepreneurial characteristics. Industrial Organization
Marcus Biermann London School of Economics (LSE) and Center for Economic Performance (CEP) PhD Student in Economics In my project, as novelty to this literature I want to study the interaction between management practices and multinationals’ investment decision. For this purpose, I intend to make use of the World Management Survey (WMS) and merge it with data from Orbis and Zephyr, which provide information about foreign direct investments of multinationals. For each firm, I plan to construct its complete path of FDI investments using these databases. Industrial Organization
Mari Tanaka Hitotsubashi University Assistant professor Investigate differences in management practices by managers’ institutional and cultural background, which are inferred from region and birth cohorts. Entrepreneurship
Fredrik Heyman Research Institute of Industrial Economics (Stockholm) Associate Professor This paper examines whether and, if so, why source country heterogeneity exists in foreign direct investment. Using detailed data on all Swedish firms for the period from 1996 to 2009, we find statistical evidence that affiliate performance differs systematically across source countries. We show that differences in foreign MNEs’ global management practices (estimated from the new firm-level data from the World Management Survey) explain about a third of the observed source country variation in productivity among foreign affiliates. We also show how different source country characteristics – through their impact on MNEs’ global management practices – affect affiliate productivity in a host country. Industrial Organization
John Perry Wichita State University Associate Professor My research question is “Do culture and family ownership influence management practices in manufacturing firms throughout the world?” Industrial Organization
Thomas Bassettu University of Padua (Italy) Associate Professor I want to contribute to the debate about the economics of talent by investigating how competition and risk attitude affect family and non-family firms’ investment decisions in talent management. I want to extend Asplund’s (2002) model by considering that talent is an extremely uncertain dimension affecting both the production and cost functions. This allows me to derive two important propositions. First, risk-averse and risk-neutral firms differ in terms of investment in talent management practices. Second, because of the relationship between direct competition and returns to talent management practices, risk-averse firms may significantly change their investment decisions when the number of direct competitors increases. I aim to test the theoretical predictions by using the WMS. In particular, I want to see if risk-averse firms tend to under- (over-) invest in talent management when the number of direct competitors is low (high). This work may have important positive and normative implications. Industrial Organization
Luca Marcolin Economist Are firms which are better managed also more capable of producing innovation? If it is true that better managerial practices improve the ability of the firm to gather information from the technological frontier by making the company’s structure more flexible and hiring more skilled employees), this should also translate into greater potential of well managed firms to produce innovation. The latter information is accessible to us at the firm level (for both manufacturing and services), through work which has been carried out by the research group I belong to. Industrial Organization
Hanwei Huang PhD student This project is to test the hypothesis that management could be a source of comparative advantage in international trade. Thus we want to see whether countries with better managerial technology will produce and export more in sectors that are more management intensive. For the purpose of this project, we need to measure the managerial technology of each country and the managerial intensity of each sector. Then we study how international trade flow respond to their interaction. Industrial Organization
Marco Savioli Research Fellow With our research, we aim at explaining how the complex intertwine of companies’ managerial characteristics and other more easily measured (tanglible) attributes concur to performance. We would like to explore different measures of performance as, for instance, profitability (ROE), sales and export behaviour. In addition, size (employment, shareholder equity, market value) and growth may be other important variables to take into account. The main aim of our project is to uncover the reciprocal relationship between “soft” and “hard” companies’ characteristics in consideration of their behaviour in the market. Industrial Organization
Benedikt Rydzek Researcher In this project – with Professor Peter Egger and Professor Raymond Riezmann – we would like to investigate how the organizational efficiency of affiliates of multinational firms (MNE) is related to the distance from the parent firm. We suggest that country-pair specific variables have a negative effect on the organizational efficiency of affiliates, e.g. affiliates that are geographically further away from the parent firm have lower organizational efficiency. Industrial Organization
Mohammad M. Rahaman Associate Professor of Finance The data is intended for a project on how international competition originating from a low-wage countries affects firm survival (performance) in high-wage countries via the management quality channel. Specifically, I intend to use the import penetration into the U.S. and Canadian manufacturing industries by Chinese producers as a measure of low-wage country competition and investigate whether and to what extent management quality matter for firms in developed countries to withstand trade shock originating from low-tech and labour-intensive countries. The project intends to shed light on the effects of managerial human capital in the west on trade-induced firm dynamics such as exit. Industrial Organization
Xiaoshu Bei Graduate Student I am interested in innovation strategies in general. And for this particular study, I am interested to see how management practice correlates with different innovation strategies. I am fairly experienced at matching firm names, and I am planning to use the firm identifiers to match out to other data sources, such as the patent data, and financial information. With that, I am hoping to conduct a variable selection approach to identify key management practices that correlates with innovation strategies, and further try to understand the underlying mechanism. Industrial Organization
Zhujun Zhu Ph.D We want to have specific firm’s identificatin information to merge with annual survey data of Chinese industrial firms (ASIF). Our main purpose is to verify the relationship between firms’ management skills and firm-level markup, which seems to very important issue to some extent. We aim to see if there exist a certain possibility that firm-level markup will be improved by enhancing firm’ management skills. Industrial Organization
Martina Tortis King’s College London PhD The role of costs and the delegation of decision making in R&D cooperation: implications for university-business collaborations This research project will investigate the role of transaction costs and the decentralisation of decision-making in firms’ propensity to engage in basic research collaborations with universities, using a quantitative approach complemented by interviews with R&D managers in industry. The project aims to provide science policymakers with a better understanding of how the potential for collaborative R&D between universities and businesses varies across industrial, intra-organisational and inter-organisational boundaries. This should enable the UK government to better target and design government incentives in this area and ultimately help address the UK’s relatively poor performance in innovation and the exploitation of basic research. Industrial Organization
Carnegie Mellon University PhD Supervisor: Granger Morgan The different faces of institutional instability and technology adoption We are analyzing the underlying reasons why Portuguese companies are adopting certain technologies, but not others. In particular, we use the case of Metal (MAM) and Polymer (PAM) Additive Manufacturing to show how changes in the institutional framework, funding availability and organizations for the creation of a knowledge base, have influenced these decisions. Industrial Organization
Topic: Labour

Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
Ian Schmutte University of Georgia and University of Oxford Professor Chris Cornwell and Daniela Scur Compensation practices and management: evidence from Brazil We match plant-level WMS data provided under this agreement to linked employer-employee data from Brazil. The goal of our research is to better understand the determinants of differences in the way different plants compensate workers. Past research using linked employer-employee data has found differences in compensation patterns that appear to be consistent with different managerial objectives. Matching to the WMS data will help verify the connection between observed differences across firms in pay structure, labor market outcomes, and stated management practices. Labour
Jaime Arellano-Bover Stanford University PhD student Supervisor: Caroline Hoxby First employment and long-term outcomes This project aims at understanding the long-term consequences of workers’ first employment. Does getting a first job at a better or worse firm have consequences in the long run? If it does, what are the dynamics that lead to these consequences? I answer these questions in the Spanish context using detailed administrative data from Social Security records. Labour

Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
Fotios Pasiouras Technical University of Crete Associate Professor and Co-Director of Research at the Financial Engineering Laboratory Managerial practices and capital structure: cross-country empirical evidence Our study aims to examine whether and how the quality of management practices influences capital structure. We aim to build on the literature and provide international evidence on the association between capital structure and managerial practices related to operations management, performance monitoring, target setting, and talent management. We will also examine if the result different among countries (e.g. developed vs developing) and industries. Finance
Honggi Lee Duke University PhD student Supervisor: Sharon Belenzon Limited Liability, Asset Partitioning, Decentralization We are examining how strength of limited liability law might influences asset partitioning and decentralization of firms across several countries in Europe, Americas, and Asia. Finance
Topic: Energy and environment

Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
Ara Jo London School of Economics PhD Student Existing studies document a negative relationship between trust and domestic regulations. However, when it comes to regulations that address global cooperation problems such as climate change, we observe the opposite: high-trust countries tend to have more stringent regulations than low-trust countries. In this paper, we strive to provide a plausible explanation for this puzzle by focusing on relative enforcement costs across countries. Energy and environment
Frank Crowley Lecturer This paper will examine the influence that the regional environment has on the incidence of management practices in firm level data across a selection of countries. The role of the region in shaping firm activities and firm outcomes has become well established in the literature. This paper will explore the influence of regional institutional factors, regional economic factors and regional innovation factors on the incidence of management practices of firms, whilst controlling for internal firm characteristics such as firm size, firm age, human capital within the firm, technological intensity of the firm, exporting activity of the firm and the ownership of the firm. Energy and environment
Topic: Health

Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
Felix Hagemeister LMU Munich Doctoral Candidate I would like to make use of the data in the context of the PhD course “Advanced Topics in organizational Economics” taught by Prof. Florian Englmaier at the LMU Munich for PhD students. I intend to merge WMS management data on German hospitals with German hospital cases data (“Fallpauschalenbezogenen Krankenhausstatistik”, or “DRG-Statistik”). My research question is whether better managed hospitals in Germany achieve better outcomes for their patients. In particular, I am interested in different structures of coordination within the hospitals staff. Health
Thomas Hoe UCL PhD Student With the WMS data I plan to explore whether better- or worse-managed hospitals perform differently with respect to: (i) the level of insurance against emergency admission shocks; (ii) the use of cancellations to absorb demand shocks; (iii) the use of reductions in length of stay to absorb demand shocks; (iv) the impact of demand shocks on quality of care. Health
Eva-Maria Oppel Hamburg Center for Health Economics (HCHE), University of Hamburg Research associate and PhD candidate Our research questions can be summarized as follows:
1. What structural and organizational determinants predict the use of management practices, i.e. standardizing care, performance management, target management, and talent management?
2. Are management practices, i.e. standardizing care, performance management, target management, and talent management, associated with improved quality and care performance as perceived by patients?
3. Differences across countries:
a. Do hospitals in Germany and the United States differ in their use of management practices (i.e. standardizing care, performance management, target management, and talent management)?
b. Do hospitals in Germany and the United States differ with regard to structural and organizational determinants that predict their use of management practices?
c. Does the effect of management practices, i.e. standardizing care, performance management, target management, and talent management on patients’ perceptions of quality and care performance differ between Germany and the United States?
David Mohr Investigator Study proposes to examine US healthcare systems. Hospitals practices, such as HR, clinical pathways, protocols will be examined in relation to variation between systems, variation over time, and how these practices are associated with health related outcomes for patients, including satisfaction and other data publically available. Study will examine if changes in hospital practice have occurred as a result of changes in healthcare policy climate in an exploratory framework. Analyses propose to examine extent of standardization and centralization in relation to patient and organizational outcomes – in light of balance and tradeoffs between patient centered care and evidence based medicine. A specific interest is in examining the availability of Federal healthcare systems represented in the dataset and whether/how they differ from non-Federal healthcare systems. Health
Topic: Education
Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
RUTH MATEOS DE CABO University CEU-San Pablo Associate Professor  Miryam Martinez Women, men and leadership The goal of the research is to identify and study gender differences in leadership styles. For that purpose our working hypothesis is that women will show a different style, following the literature theoretical models.
In particular, our research question is: Are there any difference in leadership styles between women and men managers?
Damian Clarke University of Chile Associate Professor Daniela Scur Brazilian schools and teacher labour markets How does management affect the quality of teaching and the teacher labour market in Brazil? Education
Name Institution Position Co-authors Project title Short description Area
Daniela Scur University of Oxford Research fellow Renata Lemos and Nicolas Lippolis Firm management in African countries This paper will take the first look at the WMS data for African countries, and will focus on what the new lessons are from this new dataset as well as how it compares with current data for African economies from the World Enterprise Survey. Development