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Kathryn Shaw

Ernest C. Arbuckle Professsor of Economics
Director of the Summer Institute for General Management
Stanford University Graduate School of Business



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.

Professor 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 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. 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.