Citations (4)



Regional Disadvantage? Non-Compete Agreements and Brain Drain

Matt Marx

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Jasjit Singh


Lee Fleming

Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit

July 21, 2010

We construct inventor career histories using the U.S. patent record from 1975 to 2005 and demonstrate a brain drain among patenting inventors from states that enforce employee non-compete agreements to those that do not. Non-compete enforcement drives away inventors with greater human and social capital, while retaining those who are less productive and less connected. In addition to showing support for these conclusions in cross-sectional analyses, we address causality-related concerns with a difference-in-differences study design based on an inadvertent reversal of Michigan’s non-compete enforcement policy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 41

Keywords: non-compete agreements, labor mobility, technology policy, inventor migration, regional economics, patents

JEL Classification: O30, O38, R10, R12

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Date posted: August 9, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Marx, Matt and Singh, Jasjit and Fleming, Lee, Regional Disadvantage? Non-Compete Agreements and Brain Drain (July 21, 2010). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1654719 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1654719

Contact Information

Matt Marx (Contact Author)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
50 Memorial Drive
Cambridge, MA 02139-4307
United States
Jasjit Singh
INSEAD ( email )
Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
Lee Fleming
Harvard University - Technology & Operations Management Unit ( email )
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617 495 6613 (Phone)
617 496 5265 (Fax)
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