The role of peer effects in corporate employee welfare policies
British Journal of Management
47 Pages Posted: 5 May 2021
Date Written: May 3, 2021
This paper investigates the role of peer effects in the employee welfare policies of organizations. Using US panel data for a sample of 11,451 firm-year observations from 1996 to 2017, we find that firms’ employee welfare decisions are driven by their peers and show that peer firms play a significant role in defining corporate employee welfare policies. Our findings are robust to various sensitivity checks, including alternative definitions of employee welfare, alternative peer proxies, and several identification strategies. Our additional analysis shows that herding behaviour is prevalent in followers, who mimic leaders' behaviour, but we do not find any such relationship for industry leaders. Further, we show evidence suggesting that mimetic and normative isomorphic pressures are driving the peer effects. Finally, we document the economic consequence of peer mimicking in employee welfare policies. Our findings on firms’ peer effects and herding behaviour have policy implications.
Keywords: Peer effects; Nonwage Labour Costs and Benefits; Employee Welfare; Employee Well-being; Behavioural Finance
JEL Classification: G02, G30; J32, I03
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation