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Arizona State University

It's unclear if a boycott over bathrooms or immigration dents a state's economy

It's unclear if a boycott over bathrooms or immigration dents a state's economy

Bruce Springsteen canceled a concert in North Carolina, and Sharon Stone scrapped plans to film a movie in Mississippi.

They are among the celebrities and corporations that declared they will not do business in the two Southern states because they passed legislation that threatens gay rights (Mississippi) and transgender rights (North Carolina).

But the question remains: As a social corrective, does the cancellation of rock concerts and film projects really work?

The answer is ambiguous. Yes, boycotts work if the main point is delivering a message. No, boycotts don’t work if the goal is inflicting economic damage, though some state industries are more vulnerable...

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