Kathryn Shaw

The Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Schools

  • Stanford Graduate School of Business

Expertise

Links

Biography

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Research Statement

Kathryn Shaw’s most recent research focuses on managing talent in high performance organizations. She studies how firms attract and build star talent in the software industry and in a wide range of knowledge-intensive industries. More broadly, Professor Shaw studies how companies can achieve measurable rates of return from investing in human resource management practices that are aimed at improving the performance of workers or teams of workers. She is identified as a co-developer of the field of “insider econometrics,” in which researchers use internal “inside” company data to study the performance gains from practices such as teamwork and incentive pay.

Bio

Kathryn Shaw   is the Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. Previously, Shaw was the Ford Distinguished Research Chair and Professor of Economics at the business school at Carnegie Mellon University. She completed her PhD in economics at Harvard University in 1981. Professor Shaw served as a Senate-confirmed Member of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, 1999-2001, and has been an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics.

In recent work, Shaw evaluates the importance of bosses in improving the productivity of their subordinates.  She (and her co-authors) show that that a good boss can markedly improve his subordinate’s productivity now and into the future as the worker moves on.  Shaw has also developed an interest in entrepreneurship, showing that serial entrepreneurs develop intangible capital that they take with them as they move from their first firm to a new more productive firm.  In earlier work that has been published in the American Economic Review, and Management Science, she and her colleagues evaluate the effectiveness of complementary teamwork practices in the steel industry. She has also focused on the performance gains from new information technologies and the changes in management strategy towards product customization that enhance returns to investment. In related work on incentives in franchising, she shows how the optimal use of franchise contracts can increase brand value for franchise companies. Her research has been extensively funded by the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Russell Sage and Rockefeller Foundations, and the Department of Labor.

In 2001, Shaw received the Columbia University award for the best paper on international business, and in 1998, she was honored as the recipient of the Minnesota Award for Employment Research for the best paper in 1997-98 on the topic of employment issues. She held a Stanford Graduate School of Business Trust Faculty Fellow in 2005-2006. She has been the recipient of the Xerox Research Chair, has served on a Research Panel of the NSF, and was an Editor of the Review of Economics and Statistics. At Carnegie Mellon University, Shaw received the Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence, the Economics Department Teaching Award, was Chair of the Faculty Senate, and was Head of the Department of Industrial Management.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Economics, Harvard University, 1981
  • AB, Economics & Mathematics, Occidental College, 1976

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2003
  • Visiting Professor, IZA, May 2014
  • Visiting Professor, University of Paris, December 2009
  • Ford Distinguished Research Chair, Professor of Economics, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 2002-2003
  • Professor of Economics, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1997-2003
  • Associate Professor of Economics with Tenure, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1994-1997
  • Associate Professor of Economics, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1989-1994
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1981-1989

Professional Experience

  • Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President Member (Senate Confirmed, June 2000), 1999-2001
  • Affiliated Faculty, Heinz School of Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 1996-2003
  • Department Head, Industrial Management Department, 1987-1990
  • Department Head, Economics Department (Acting), 1989
  • Visiting Economist, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, 1984-1986
  • Assistant Head Tutor in Economics, Harvard University, 1978-1981
  • Research Staff Economist, Center for Policy Alternatives, MIT, 1977-1979

Awards and Honors

  • Trust Faculty Fellow, Stanford GSB, 2011-2012
  • Fellow, Society for Labor Economics, 2008
  • Trust Faculty Fellow, Stanford GSB, 2005-2006
  • Special Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence, Economics Department, Carnegie Mellon University, 2003
  • Teaching Award Commendation, Carnegie Mellow University Business School, 2002
  • Best Paper on International Business, Columbia University, 2001
  • Teaching Award Commendation, Carnegie Mellow University Business School, 2000
  • Teaching Award Commendation, Carnegie Mellow University Business School, 1999
  • Minnesota Award for Best Paper on employment Institutions, 1998
  • Xerox Research Chair, GSIA, Carnegie Mellon University, 1992-1993
  • Teaching Award, Carnegie Mellow University, Department of Economics, 1992
  • Harvard University Graduate Student Fellowship, 1976-1979
  • Phi Beta Kappa, Magna cum laude, Departmental honors in Economics, 4.0 Graduate in Mathematics, Occidental College, 1976
  • Valedictorian, Verdugo Hills High School, 1972

Teaching

Degree Courses

2017-18

HRMGT 284: People Management Strategy in Startups and Growing Firms

The average CEO, C-suite manager, or funder, will say that a firm''s success hinges on hiring and motivating the right people. Therefore, this class aims to examine the people management strategies you might choose from as you build a young firm,...

MGTECON 381: Contemporary Economic Policy

Economic issues permeate all that happens in government. This topics-based course will exam a variety of historic and current issues on the political agenda where economics is central to decision making. It is taught by faculty who served at the...

MGTECON 526: Inclusive Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries

Poverty rates have fallen markedly in countries around the world, as more households have joined the lower middle-class. Indeed, though U.S. income inequality has increased, inequality has fallen around the world. However, by developed country...

MGTECON 629: Microeconomics Workshop

Each week, a different economics faculty member will discuss his or her important and /or current research. The course is an important introduction to PhD level research topics and techniques. Attendance is mandatory.

2016-17

HRMGT 284: People Management Strategy in Startups and Growing Firms

The average CEO, C-suite manager, or funder, will say that a firm¿s success hinges on hiring and motivating the right people. Therefore, this class aims to examine the people management strategies you might choose from as you build a young firm,...

MGTECON 381: Contemporary Economic Policy

Economic issues permeate all that happens in government. This topics-based course will exam a variety of historic and current issues on the political agenda where economics is central to decision making. It is taught by faculty who served at the...

MGTECON 526: Inclusive Economic Growth and Poverty Reduction in Developing Countries

Poverty rates have fallen markedly in countries around the world, as more households have joined the lower middle-class. Indeed, though U.S. income inequality has increased, inequality has fallen around the world. However, by developed country...

Other Teaching

Citigroup Executive Program, 2004-present

Sloan Executive Program, 2004-present

HR Executive Program, 2004-present

Alumni Weekend Events, 2004-present

In the Media

Big-box retail work has its benefits

Phys.org, June 7, 2016

Insights by Stanford Business

writtenCoaxing Star Producers to Be Leaders

May 22, 2017

Economist Kathryn Shaw looks at how an aggressive law firm moved beyond “eat what you kill.”

writtenA Look Back at 2016

December 19, 2016

Read 10 Stanford Business stories from the past year, including pieces on work-life balance, power, and management.

writtenSeven Popular Business Videos of 2016

December 15, 2016

Faculty and guest speakers on topics ranging from storytelling to simplicity.

writtenA Data-Driven Guide to Becoming an Effective Boss

October 6, 2016

A good boss shares a vision, teaches well, and helps employees meet their career goals.

videoThree Things All Good Bosses Do

June 20, 2016

Pay attention to these issues and watch productivity go up.

writtenHow Fear Spurred Productivity in the Great Recession

April 11, 2016

Research shows how this recession bucked historical patterns.

writtenRisk: The Recommended List

December 15, 2014

Learn more about risk and other related topics.

writtenFive Things You Should Know About Risk

December 11, 2014

From outer space to the boardroom, risk is all around us.

writtenKathryn Shaw: Big Box Stores Pay Higher Wages Than You Think

December 5, 2014

A new study compares pay scales at chain stores to mom and pop shops.

writtenResearchers: How Much Difference Does a Boss Make?

September 27, 2012

A new study finds that good middle managers add to workplace productivity.

writtenPaying Star Employees Well is a Good Strategy for Innovation

January 1, 2011

New research shows that the most successful companies get their edge by paying star employees more than the competition to fuel innovation.

writtenEncouraging Teamwork Can Boost Manufacturing Productivity

March 1, 2008

In a study of steel mills, rank-and-file workers in strategic teams were effective in tackling complex efficiency problems.

writtenHow Franchisers Protect Brand Reputation

November 1, 2005

Research shows companies that spend heavily on advertising to build brand reputation own a higher percentage of franchise outlets for that brand.

Videos

Read about executive education

Cases

Royal Bank of Canada: Using People Strategy and Analytics To Drive Employee Performance (A) | HR44A Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2017

Box: The Evolution of Management Practices in a Start-up | HR43 Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

LinkedIn and Modern Recruiting (A) | HR41A Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

LinkedIn and Modern Recruiting (B) | HR41B Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (A) | HR42A Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (B) | HR42B Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

Performance Evaluations: Bialecki Inc. | E277 Katherine Bose, Kathryn Shaw2008

Shiny and New: The Evolution of ISG and ArcelorMittal Steel | E285 Katherine Bose, Kathryn Shaw2008

Cinepolis: Changes to a Family-Owned Company | E278 Bethany Coates, Kathryn Shaw2007

Amy Baker | E203 Dani Kerrigan, Joanna Newman, Kathryn Shaw, Alex Tauber2005

Sheryle Bolton (A) | E207A Carly Irestone, Kathryn Shaw, Angela Shelton, Alex Tauber2005

Royal Bank of Canada: Using People Strategy and Analytics To Drive Employee Performance (A) | HR44A Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2017

Box: The Evolution of Management Practices in a Start-up | HR43 Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

LinkedIn and Modern Recruiting (A) | HR41A Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

LinkedIn and Modern Recruiting (B) | HR41B Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (A) | HR42A Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

Royal Bank of Canada: Transforming Managers (B) | HR42B Kathryn Shaw, Debra Schifrin2015

Performance Evaluations: Bialecki Inc. | E277 Katherine Bose, Kathryn Shaw2008

Shiny and New: The Evolution of ISG and ArcelorMittal Steel | E285 Katherine Bose, Kathryn Shaw2008

Cinepolis: Changes to a Family-Owned Company | E278 Bethany Coates, Kathryn Shaw2007

Amy Baker | E203 Dani Kerrigan, Joanna Newman, Kathryn Shaw, Alex Tauber2005

Sheryle Bolton (A) | E207A Carly Irestone, Kathryn Shaw, Angela Shelton, Alex Tauber2005

Other experts

Mary Ann Altergott

Highly impactful senior leader accomplished in creating business strategy, building organizational capabilities and managing change to positively impact bottom-line performance. Extensive leadership experience with acquisitions, building organizational development approaches and leading diverse t...

Bob Barnes

About Bob Barnes joined the Quinlan School of Business in spring 2013.  While at Quinlan Bob has taught principles of microeconomics principles of macroeconomics, intermediate microeconomics and intermediate macroeconomics.  His past teaching experience includes numerous courses in Money and Bank...

Joe LiVigni

Joe LiVigni is the Director Training & Development at Capsim Management Simulations, a leader in creating business simulations for use in the educational and corporate training sectors. He has over 20 years’ experience in corporate settings. Joe has held training, sales, and management roles ...

Looking for an expert?

Contact us and we'll find the best option for you.

Something went wrong. We're trying to fix this error.