• The role of peer effects in corporate employee welfare policies

      Rind, A.A.; Akbar, Saeed; Boubaker, S.; Lajili-Jarjir, S.; Mollah, S. (Wiley, 2021)
      This paper investigates the role of peer effects in the employee welfare policies of organizations. Using US panel data for a sample of 11,451 firm-year observations from 1996 to 2017, we find that firms’ employee welfare decisions are driven by their peers and show that peer firms play a significant role in defining corporate employee welfare policies. Our findings are robust to various sensitivity checks, including alternative definitions of employee welfare, alternative peer proxies, and several identification strategies. Our additional analysis shows that herding behavior is prevalent in followers, who mimic leaders' behavior, but we do not find any such relationship for industry leaders. Further, we show the evidence suggesting that mimetic and normative isomorphic pressures are driving the peer effects. Finally, we document the economic consequence of peer mimicking in employee welfare policies. Our findings on firms’ peer effects and herding behavior have policy implications.