The increasingly large role played by financial intermediaries, such as venture capitalists and angels, in nurturing entrepreneurial firms and in promoting product market innovation has led to great research interest in the area of entrepreneurial finance and innovation. This paper introduces the special issue of the Review of Financial Studies dedicated to entrepreneurial finance and innovation and highlights some of the promising topics for future research in this area. The special issue combines papers presented at the June 2010 “Entrepreneurial Finance and Innovation (EFIC)” conference, which was jointly sponsored by the Kauffman Foundation and the Review of Financial Studies, with other related papers.
This paper studies the effects on jobless recovery of diminishing the power of an employer to fire an employee through Employment-At-Will Exceptions (EWEs). I use dynamic panel regressions with quarterly data ranging from 1976 to 2010 for the 50 states in the U.S. I test both changes in state unemployment rates and state-weighted GDP growth. I also resolve differences in the various sources documenting the three types of EWEs in different states and show two of the three contribute significantly to jobless recovery in the U.S. The results lend support to predictions of theory that increased firing costs decrease the rate of hiring during recoveries. Statistical tests show the adoption of both EWEs would slow decreases in the unemployment rate during recovery from recession by up to 0.352 percentage points annually.