State Enforceability of Noncompete Agreements: Regulations that Stifle Productivity!
Human Resource Management,
Noncompete agreements (also known as covenants not to compete [CNCs]) are frequently used by many businesses in an attempt to maintain their competitive advantage by safeguarding their human capital and the associated business secrets. Although the choice of whether to include CNCs in employment contracts is made by firms, the real extent of their restrictiveness is determined by the state laws. In this article, we explore the effect of state‐level CNC enforceability on firm productivity. We assert that an increase in state level CNC enforceability is detrimental to firm productivity, and this relationship becomes stronger as comparable job opportunities become more concentrated in a firm's home state. On the other hand, this negative relationship is weakened as employee compensation tends to become more long‐term oriented. Results based on hierarchical linear modeling analysis of 21,134 firm‐year observations for 3,027 unique firms supported all three hypotheses.
Managerial Stability and the Pricing of New Equity Issuances: The Effects of State Enforcement of Noncompetition Agreements
International Review of Entrepreneurship,
In this paper, we empirically investigate the relationship between managerial stability induced by the legal enforcement of noncompetition agreements and the pricing of new equity issuances. Making use of the variation in the enforceability of noncompetition contracts across states in the U.S., we find that managerial stability is negatively related to underpricing and price revision for our sample of new equity issuing firms. Our results demonstrate that the stability of management is important for an issuing firm to convey its intrinsic value credibly to the market.
Enforceability of Noncompetition Agreements and Firm Innovation: Does State Regulation Matter?
Innovation: Organization & Management,
In this study, we examine how noncompetition agreements and the mobility of human capital – a core asset of any firm – affect innovations of publicly traded firms in the United States. We find that firms in states with stricter noncompetition enforcement have fewer patent applications. We also examine patent forward citations and find that tougher enforcement of such contracts is associated with less innovative patents. Notably, we find that stronger enforcement of noncompetition agreements impedes innovation for firms facing intense industry labor mobility. High-powered, equity-based compensation positively moderates the relationship between noncompetition enforcement and innovation, but only for the quality of innovation.