Wrongful Discharge Laws and Innovation

58 Pages Posted: 3 Nov 2012 Last revised: 4 Feb 2021

See all articles by Viral V. Acharya

Viral V. Acharya

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Ramin Baghai

Stockholm School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI); Swedish House of Finance

Krishnamurthy Subramanian

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2012

Abstract

We show that wrongful discharge laws - laws that protect employees against unjust dismissal - spur innovation and new firm creation. Wrongful discharge laws, particularly those that prohibit employers from acting in bad faith ex post, limit employers' ability to hold up innovating employees after the innovation is successful. By reducing the possibility of hold-up, these laws enhance employees' innovative efforts and encourage firms to invest in risky, but potentially mould-breaking, projects. We develop a model and provide supporting empirical evidence of this effect using the staggered adoption of wrongful discharge laws across the U.S. states.

Suggested Citation

Acharya, Viral V. and Baghai, Ramin and Subramanian, Krishnamurthy, Wrongful Discharge Laws and Innovation (November 2012). NBER Working Paper No. w18516, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2170639

Viral V. Acharya (Contact Author)

New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
New York, NY NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://pages.stern.nyu.edu/~sternfin/vacharya/public_html/~vacharya.htm

New York University (NYU) - Department of Finance

Stern School of Business
44 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012-1126
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Ramin Baghai

Stockholm School of Economics ( email )

PO Box 6501
Stockholm, 11383
Sweden

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI) ( email )

c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels
Belgium

Swedish House of Finance ( email )

Drottninggatan 98
111 60 Stockholm
Sweden

Krishnamurthy Subramanian

Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad ( email )

Hyderabad, Gachibowli 500 019
India

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