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Title: Essays in applied economics : managers, technology and productivity
Author: Espinoza Bustos, Hector Eduardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 7427 9171
Awarding Body: King's College London
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis aims to contribute to the economics of management and productivity. We explore some of the important linkages between managers, technology, earnings, and productivity in the United Kingdom. First, we investigate the role of managers in productivity in the context of skill-biased technical change and routinisation hypotheses. Using panel (EU KLEMS) and cross-sectional data (The Skills and Employment Survey), the empirical analyses, based on OLS, Probit, Fixed Effects, and GMM estimations, find positive and significant associations between management practices, non-routine tasks, earnings, and productivity, which introduces fresh new evidence to the literature. Second, utilising the Skills and Employment Survey, we explore the relationship between technological progress (i.e., the introduction of new technologies in the workplace), and management practices (i.e., a measure of intangible capital). The OLS and Propensity Score Matching (PSM) estimations show that the introduction of new communication technologies correlates with ‘people management’ practices in the workplace, but not with ‘organisation management’ tasks (such as resource control and planning). Additionally, the association between new computerised equipment and management practices is not significant, or at least not conclusive within the framework of this study. These results suggest that decision makers, such as CEOs and directors, must find connections between the way technology operates (e.g. social use) and the type of intangible capital intended to be shaped by managers (i.e., people management practices can be nurtured with new social channels). Third, we explore the association between computer-based numeracy tasks and earnings. For this, information about tasks, skills, earnings, and other employment conditions is taken from the Skills for Life Survey, and with an instrumental variable combined with interval-censored regression approach, it is found that ICT numeracy tasks are particularly relevant for managers and strongly correlate with earnings. The positive association between this task and earnings remains strong if the full set of occupations is considered. It is worth noting that the significance of other computerised tasks is modest. All these findings have policy implications for the United Kingdom. Notably, the formative period for managers should stress the importance of social and numeracy skills, incorporating adequate technologies into the process. This should later be reflected in the workplace, where a real potential to increase productivity is apparent. We provide avenues for developing further research. For instance, developing and exploring new panel data measures of management practices; using alternative methodologies, such as Randomised Control Trials that could be applied to the context of technological change; or studying the relationship between different management practices and their economic performance at the aggregate level.
Supervisor: De Coulon, Augustin ; Lindley, Joanne Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available