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DO NON-COMPETE COVENANTS INFLUENCE STATE STARTUP ACTIVITY? EVIDENCE FROM THE MICHIGAN EXPERIMENT
This paper examines how the enforceability of employee non compete agreements affects the entry of new establishments and jobs created by these new firms. We use a panel of startup activity for the U.S. states for the period 1977 to 2013. We exploit Michigan’s inadvertent policy reversal in 1985 that transformed the state from a non enforcing to an enforcing state as a quasinatural experiment to estimate the causal effect of enforcement on startup activity. In a difference-in-difference framework, we find little support for the widely held view that enforcement of non-compete agreements ...
On the Inefficiency of Non-Competes in Low-Wage Labor Markets
We study the efficiency of non-compete agreements (NCAs) in an equilibrium model of labor turnover. The model is consistent with empirical studies showing that NCAs reduce turnover, average wages, and wage dispersion for low-wage workers. But the model also predicts that NCAs, by reducing turnover, raise recruitment and employment. We show that optimal NCA policy: (i) is characterized by a Hosios like condition that balances the benefits of higher employment against the costs of inefficient congestion and poaching; (ii) depends critically on the minimum wage, such that enforcing NCAs can be ...