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Do Wrongful-Discharge Laws Impair Firm Performance?

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  • Robert C. Bird
  • John D. Knopf

Abstract

We estimate the effects on firm costs and profitability of wrongful-discharge protections adopted by U.S. state courts during 1977-99. By examining the data of approximately 18,000 commercial banks, after controlling for local state economic conditions, we find evidence of a relationship between the adoption of the implied contract exception and the increase in labor expenses. In addition, adoption of the implied contract exception is found to have a significant and negative effect on overall profitability. The study corroborates previous findings that wrongful-discharge laws place increased costs on employers. (c) 2009 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert C. Bird & John D. Knopf, 2009. "Do Wrongful-Discharge Laws Impair Firm Performance?," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 52(2), pages 197-222, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jlawec:v:52:y:2009:i:2:p:197-222
    DOI: 10.1086/596560
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    1. Filippo Belloc, 2015. "Employee Representation Legislations and Innovation," Department of Economics University of Siena 719, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    2. Filippo Belloc, 2019. "Labor Conflict at the Workplace: Do Dismissal Regulations Matter?," Department of Economics University of Siena 806, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    3. Brian A. Jacob, 2010. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Worker Effort: Evidence from Public Schooling," NBER Working Papers 15655, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Christine LueckeBy & Andreas Knabe, 2020. "How much does others’ protection matter? Employment protection, future labour market prospects and well-being," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 893-914.
    5. Maria De Paola & Roberto Nisticò & Vincenzo Scoppa, 2020. "Fertility Decisions And Employment Protection: The Unintended Consequences Of The Italian Jobs Act," Working Papers 202003, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
    6. Bruce G. Carruthers & Naomi R. Lamoreaux, 2016. "Regulatory Races: The Effects of Jurisdictional Competition on Regulatory Standards," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(1), pages 52-97, March.
    7. Marco Leonardi & Giovanni Pica, 2013. "Who Pays for it? The Heterogeneous Wage Effects of Employment Protection Legislation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 123(12), pages 1236-1278, December.
    8. Filippo Belloc, 2015. "Employee Representation Legislations and Innovation," Department of Economics University of Siena 719, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
    9. Long, Cheryl & Yang, Jin, 2016. "How do firms respond to minimum wage regulation in China? Evidence from Chinese private firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 267-284.
    10. Viral V. Acharya & Ramin P. Baghai & Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian, 2014. "Wrongful Discharge Laws and Innovation," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 27(1), pages 301-346, January.
    11. Federico Cingano & Marco Leonardi & Julián Messina & Giovanni Pica, 2016. "Employment Protection Legislation, Capital Investment and Access to Credit: Evidence from Italy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 126(595), pages 1798-1822, September.
    12. Sangheon Lee & Deirdre McCann & Nina Torm, 2008. "The World Bank's “Employing Workers” index: Findings and critiques – A review of recent evidence," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 147(4), pages 416-432, December.
    13. Brian A. Jacob, 2013. "The Effect of Employment Protection on Teacher Effort," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(4), pages 727-761.
    14. Desheng Yin & Xinting Zhen, 2021. "Employment Protection and Banking Power: Evidence from Adoption of Wrongful Discharge Laws," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 13(4), pages 1-22, February.
    15. Per Skedinger, 2010. "Employment Protection Legislation," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 13686.
    16. Robert Bird & John Knopf, 2015. "The Impact of Local Knowledge on Banking," Journal of Financial Services Research, Springer;Western Finance Association, vol. 48(1), pages 1-20, August.
    17. Dongil D. Keum, 2020. "Cog in the wheel: Resource release and the scope of interdependencies in corporate adjustment activities," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(2), pages 175-197, February.
    18. Nguyen, Phuong-Anh & Kecskés, Ambrus & Mansi, Sattar, 2020. "Does corporate social responsibility create shareholder value? The importance of long-term investors," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 112(C).

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