You are here

Kathryn Shaw

Kathryn   Shaw
Professor, Economics
KathrynShaw
Ernest C. Arbuckle Professor of Economics
Director of the Summer Institute for General Management
Academic Area: 
Economics

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 is an editor of the Journal of Labor Economics.

In 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. Recently, she has turned to studying 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 is 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, Harvard University, 1981
  • AB, Occidental College, 1976

Academic Appointments

  • At Stanford University since 2003
  • 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, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1989-1994
  • Assistant Professor of Economics, Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, 1981-1989

Awards and Honors

  • Special Award for Sustained Teaching Excellence, Economics Department, Carnegie Mellon University, 2003
  • Teaching Award Commendation, CMU Business School, 2002
  • Best Paper on International Business, Columbia University, 2001
  • Teaching Award Commendation, CMU Business School, 2000
  • Teaching Award Commendation, CMU Business School, 1999

Publications

Journal Articles

Fredrik Andersson, Matthew Freedman, John Haltiwanger, Julia Lane, Kathryn Shaw. The Economic Journal. June 2009, Vol. 119, Issue 538, Pages F308–F332.
Casey Ichniowski, Kathryn Shaw. Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2003, Vol. 17, Issue 1, Pages 155-180.
Jon Gant, Casey Ichniowski, Kathryn Shaw. Journal of Economics and Management Strategy. 2002, Vol. 11, Issue 2, Pages 289-328.
Francine Lafontaine, Kathryn Shaw. Journal of Political Economy. 1999, Vol. 107, Issue 5, Pages 1041-1080.
Casey Ichniowski, Kathryn Shaw. Management Science. 1999, Vol. 45 , Issue 5, Pages 704-721.
Casey Ichniowski, Kathryn Shaw, Giovanna Prennushi. American Economic Review. 1997, Vol. 87, Issue 3, Pages 291-313.

Working Papers

Why Bosses Matter
Edward Lazear, Kathryn Shaw, Christopher T. Stanton, August 2012
Targeting Managerial Control: Evidence from Franchising
Francine Lafontaine, Kathryn Shaw, August 2011

Courses Taught

Degree Courses

2014-15

Need approval from sponsoring faculty member and GSB Registrar.

Doctoral Practicum in Teaching

Doctoral Practicum in Research

HRMGT 284 will focus on the organization strategy of the firm. The success of a firm depends not just on a well-designed product market strategy, but on how well that strategy is executed to align the goals of the employees with those of the...

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...

This seminar will examine applications of labor economics to business issues and firms' practices. Material will include both theoretical and empirical work, and the syllabus will range from classics in Personnel Economics to current (unpublished...

This course is elected as soon as a student is ready to begin research for the dissertation, usually shortly after admission to candidacy. To register, a student must obtain permission from the faculty member who is willing to supervise the...

2013-14

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...

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.

Data is everywhere. Firms collect it. Data on customers' preferences are collected through websites or loyalty programs or cash registers. Data on employees' traits are collected through in-house databanks or social networking sites. All of us...

2012-13

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...

2011-12

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...

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.

2010-11

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...

This seminar will examine applications of labor economics to business issues and firms' practices. Material will include both theoretical and empirical work, and the syllabus will range from classics in Personnel Economics to current (unpublished...

Stanford Case Studies

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

Service to the Profession

  • Research Fellow, CEPR, 2004-present
  • Research Fellow, Center for Corporate Performance, Denmark, 2004-present
  • Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research, 1995-present

Insights by Stanford Business

September 30, 2014
A scholar finds that repeat entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed.
September 27, 2012
A new study finds that good middle managers add to workplace productivity.
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.
March 1, 2008
In a study of steel mills, rank-and-file workers in strategic teams were effective in tackling complex efficiency problems.
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.