It’s easy to point to the social benefits of non-discrimination laws, but a new study indicates that they may provide a significant business advantage as well. Published in the journal Management Science, the report outlines a detailed statistical analysis of patent rates in states prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity and sexual orientation, and states that do not. The findings showed a substantial correlation between non-discrimination laws and higher rates of innovation.
Companies in non-discrimination states had an average of 8 percent more patents and 11 percent more patent citations. They also had higher numbers of patents and citations per employee.
The study looked at almost 60,000 businesses operating between 1976 and 2008, zero-ing in on the impact of non-discrimination laws by comparing neighboring states with and without these policies, taking into account when such laws were passed, and ruling out other factors like general economic performance of the states and the size of their LGBT populations.
Researchers also found that non-discrimination laws helped to attract more talented workers from states without these laws, creating a compounding effect of innovation. Find a detailed analysis of the report here.