Do higher costs spur process innovations and managerial incentives? Evidence from a natural experiment
This paper asks whether firms respond to cost shocks by introducing process innovations and increasing the use of managerial incentives. Using a large panel data set of workplaces in Canada, our identification strategy relies on exogenous variation in costs arising from increased border security along the 49th parallel fol- lowing 9/11. Our longitudinal difference-in-differences estimates indicate that firms responded to the cost shock by introducing new or improved processes, but did not change their use of managerial incentives. These results suggest that the threat of bankruptcy may provide impetus for improving efficiency.
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