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Pennsylvania Convention Center, 204-B
American Economic Association
Barriers to the Success of Female Owned Microenterprises
Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 8:00 AM - 10:00 AM
- Chair: David McKenzie, World Bank
Household Matters: Revisiting the Returns to Capital Among Female Microentrepreneurs
AbstractSeveral field experiments find positive returns to grants for male and not female micro-entrepreneurs. But, these analyses largely overlook that male and female microentrepreneurs often belong to the same household. Using data from randomized trials in India, Sri Lanka and Ghana, we show that the gender gap in microenterprise performance is not due to a gap in aptitude. Instead, low average returns of female-owned enterprises are observed because women's capital is invested into their husbands' firms rather than their own. When women are the sole household enterprise owner, capital shocks lead to large increases in profits. Household-level income gains are equivalent regardless of the grant or loan recipient's gender.
Mind The (Profit) Gap: Why Are Female Enterprise Owners Earning Less Than Men?
AbstractWe explore potential causes for the well-documented profit gap between male- and female-owned enterprises in low-income countries. We use rich data from an ongoing field project in Ghana's garment making sector and our study sample consists of all garment making firm owners in a mid-size district capital. We document that, even within the same industry, male-owned firms earn nearly twice as much profit as female-owned firms. We find that no difference on the plethora of observables available in our dataset can explain this large and robust gender difference in profits. We conclude that factors outside of individual firm or firm-owner characteristics are likely to be at play.
Is personal initiative training a substitute or complement to the existing human capital of women? Results from a randomized trial in Togo
AbstractWe show that personal initiative training - a psychology-based mindset training program that develops key behaviors associated with a proactive entrepreneurial mindset - delivers lasting improvements for female business owners in Togo. Which types of women benefit most from such training? Theories of dynamic complementarity would suggest training should work better for those with higher pre-existing human capital, but there are also several reasons why existing human capital might inhibit participation in training or potentially substitute for its effects. We examine the heterogeneity in treatment impact according to six different types of pre-existing human capital. We find little evidence of either complementarities or substitutability, suggesting this new business training approach can work for women with a wide range of existing human capital levels.
University of Washington
French Institute of Research for Development
- O1 - Economic Development
- L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior