Labor Mobility and Antitakeover Provisions
53 Pages Posted: 24 Apr 2018 Last revised: 26 Jan 2021
Date Written: January 16, 2021
How do firms protect their human capital? We test whether firms facing an increased threat of being acquired strengthen their antitakeover provisions (ATPs) in order to bond with their employees. We use the adoption of the Inevitable Disclosure Doctrine (IDD) by US state courts, which exogenously decreases knowledge-worker mobility, thus elevating takeover risk and reducing employee incentives to innovate. Firms respond to IDD adoption by strengthening ATPs that defend against hostile takeovers, especially when they have greater ex-ante employee mobility and human capital and place greater importance on employee relations. We find no evidence that managers strengthen ATPs for entrenchment or takeover bargaining purposes in this setting. Our findings show that ATPs can be used to credibly commit to employees in order to protect long-term value creation.
Keywords: Corporate governance, antitakeover provisions, labor mobility, implicit contracting, employee bonding, stakeholders
JEL Classification: G34, G38, J60, K22, L14
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation