Shareholder Litigation and Corporate Innovation

Chen LIN*, Sibo LIU, Gustavo MANSO

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)


We investigate whether and to what extent shareholder litigation shapes corporate innovation by examining the staggered adoption of universal demand laws in 23 states from 1989 to 2005. These laws impose obstacles against shareholders filing derivative lawsuits, thereby significantly reducing managers’ litigation risk. Using a difference-indifferences design and a matched sample, we find that, following the passage of the laws, firms invested more in research and development, produced more patents in new technological classes and more patents based on new knowledge, generated more patents with significant impacts, and achieved higher patent value. Our findings suggest that the external pressure imposed by shareholder litigation discourages managers from engaging in explorative innovation activities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3321-3984
JournalManagement Science
Issue number6
Early online date5 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2021


  • shareholder litigation
  • innovation
  • patents
  • derivative lawsuit


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