Employment Non-Discrimination Acts and Corporate Innovation
Management Science, Forthcoming
44 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2014 Last revised: 7 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 4, 2016
We show that U.S. state-level Employment Non-Discrimination Acts (ENDAs) — laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity — spur innovation. We find a significant increase in patents and patent citations for firms headquartered in states that have passed ENDAs relative to firms headquartered in states that have not. This result is more pronounced for firms that previously have not implemented pro-gay non-discrimination policies, for firms in states with a large homosexual population, and for firms in human capital-intensive industries. Lastly, we provide evidence suggesting that ENDAs affect innovation by matching pro-gay employees, who are generally more creative than anti-gay employees, with innovative firms.
Keywords: Innovation; Patents; Workplace Discrimination; Anti-discrimination Law; Sexual Orientation
JEL Classification: O31, J24, K31, M14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation