Work in Progress

Workplace Harassment Risk, Non-disclosure Regulation, and Information Exchange in Firms

(with Yuping Jia, Xiang Zheng, Menghan Zhu)

We study the effects of regulation of non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) between firms and employees. We argue that laws that limit the use of NDAs (i) reduce harassment-related frictions in social interactions between employees and (ii) improve information exchange in firms. Empirically, we find that legal insider trading becomes more profitable and firm value increases. The effects of the laws are stronger for individuals with high frictions in their social networks and for firms with high reliance on private communication. In contrast, the effects of anti-NDAs are muted in regions with stronger prevailing conflicting social norms.

Knowledge Teams, Careers, and Gender

(with Cagatay Bircan and Tristan Stahl)

We use rich data on personnel records, work assignments, and performance from a financial institution to uncover the mechanisms that lead to promotion gaps in knowl- edge work. We find a substantial promotion gap for women, which emerges early in their careers and leads to under-representation of senior women. Bankers work in multiple project teams concurrently and take on team leadership roles occasionally. Analyzing over 10,000 investment projects, we find that assignments to the job of team leader, which provide visibility to the upper echelons of the organization, are crucial for careers. Assignments to these jobs are carried out by supervisors and favors men.