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The Management and Organizational Practices Survey (MOPS): An Overview*

Catherine Buffington (), Lucia Foster (), Ron Jarmin () and Scott Ohlmacher

Working Papers from U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies

Abstract: Understanding productivity and business dynamics requires measuring production outputs and inputs. Through its surveys and use of administrative data, the Census Bureau collects information on production outputs and inputs including labor, capital, energy, and materials. With the introduction of the Management and Organizational Practices Survey (MOPS), the Census Bureau added information on another component of production: management. It has long been hypothesized that management is an important component of firm success, but until recently the study of management was confined to hypotheses, anecdotes, and case studies. Building upon the work of Bloom and Van Reenen (2007), the first-ever large scale survey of management practices in the United States, the MOPS, was conducted by the Census Bureau for 2010. A second, enhanced version of the MOPS is being conducted for 2015. The enhancement includes two new topics related to management: data and decision making (DDD) and uncertainty. As information technology has expanded plants are increasingly able to utilize data in their decision making. Structured management practices have been found to be complementary to DDD in earlier studies. Uncertainty has policy implications because uncertainty is found to be associated with reduced investment and employment. Uncertainty also plays a role in the targeting component of management.

Date: 2016-01
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