Managerial Leverage is Limited By the Extent of the Market: Hierarchies, Specialization and the Utilization of Lawyers' Human Capital
Luis Garicano () and
No 4924, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers
This paper examines hierarchies’ role in the organization of human-capital-intensive production. We develop an equilibrium model of hierarchical organization, then provide empirical evidence using confidential data on thousands of law offices from the 1992 Census of Services. We show how the equilibrium assignment of individuals to hierarchical positions varies with the degree to which their human capital is field-specialized; then show how this equilibrium changes with the extent of the market. When the extent of the market increases, individuals’ knowledge becomes narrower, but deeper. Managerial leverage, the number of workers per manager, optimally increases to exploit this depth. We find empirical evidence consistent with a central proposition of the model: the share of lawyers that work in hierarchies and the ratio of associates to partners increases as market size increases and lawyers field-specialize. Other results provide evidence against alternative interpretations that emphasize unobserved differences in the distribution of demand or ‘firm size effects’, and lend additional support to the view that a role hierarchies play in legal services is to help exploit increasing returns associated with the utilization of human capital.
Keywords: division of labour; hierarchy; industry structure; organization; specialization (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D21 J24 J44 L11 L23 L84 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Journal Article: Managerial Leverage Is Limited by the Extent of the Market: Hierarchies, Specialization, and the Utilization of Lawyers' Human Capital (2007)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4924
Ordering information: This working paper can be ordered from
http://www.cepr.org/ ... ers/dp.php?dpno=4924
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ..
Series data maintained by (). This e-mail address is bad, please contact .