Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Non-Compete Agreements and Innovation

New research by Harvard Business School Professor Lee Fleming and co-authors Matt Marx and Jasjit Singh examines the impact of laws regarding non-compete agreements.   In some states, non-compete agreements are essentially illegal.   In other states, they are legal.   Not surprisingly, their research shows that inventors migrate to states which ban non-compete agreements.   In fact, the most productive innovators tend to be most likely to be attracted to states which do not allow non-compete agreements.  The researchers point out that California, for instance, does not allow non-compete agreements.  Not surprisingly, then, Silicon Valley attracts so many entrepreneurs.   Here in Massachusetts, journalist Scott Kirsner has been pushing for the state to get rid of non-compete agreements so as to foster innovation and entrepreneurship more effectively.  This study should provide more support for Kirsner's argument. 

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