您所在的位置: 首页» 新闻中心» 讲座预告

【明理讲堂2023年第96期】12-11香港理工大学曾诚教授:The Fear of Divorce: The Unintended Consequence of Unilateral Divorce Laws for Corporate Innovation

报告题目:The Fear of Divorce: The Unintended Consequence of Unilateral Divorce Laws for Corporate Innovation


报告人:香港理工大学Colin Zeng (曾诚) 助理教授



Cheng (Colin) Zeng is an Associate Professor of Accounting at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Colin had previously worked as a lecturer at the University of Bristol and held a senior lecturer position at the University of Manchester before he joined PolyU. He has a broad research interest in accounting, finance and economics, such as political and regulatory influences on financial reporting, International Financial Reporting Standards, and China-related research. His research has been published in Journal of Accounting Research, The Accounting Review, Management Science, Accounting Organizations & Society, among others. He also serves on the editorial board of British Accounting Review, and as an ad-hoc reviewer for a number of journals, including The Accounting Review, Contemporary Accounting Research and Journal of International Business Studies.


Unilateral divorce laws (UDLs) are designed to increase the ease of divorce by eliminating the need for explicit consent from both partners. We investigate whether and how such laws affect corporate decisions, with a focus on innovation. By utilizing the staggered passage of UDLs in U.S. states from 1969 to 1985, we employ a difference-in-differences design and find that firms generate fewer patents following the enactment of UDLs. This is consistent with the notion that making divorce easier leads to an increase in individuals' anxiety regarding the risk of potential wealth loss. Consequently, it discourages them from engaging in innovative activities. Further analyses reveal that the adverse effect of UDLs on corporate innovation is more pronounced in states with a higher property loss risk and divorce probability. Overall, our findings shed new light on the impact of family laws through the lens of corporate behavior.