Gender Differences in Business Performance: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey
Robert W. Fairlie
University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics
Kauffman Foundation; University of California, Santa Cruz
August 29, 2008
US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 08-39
Using confidential microdata from the U.S. Census Bureau, we investigate the performance of female-owned businesses making comparisons to male-owned businesses. Using regression estimates and a decomposition technique, we explore the role that human capital, especially through prior work experience, and financial capital play in contributing to why female-owned businesses have lower survival rates, profits, employment and sales. We find that female-owned businesses are less successful than male-owned businesses because they have less startup capital, and business human capital acquired through prior work experience in a similar business and prior work experience in family business. We also find some evidence that female-owned businesses work fewer hours and may have different preferences for the goals of their business.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 46
Keywords: gender, business performance, women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurship
JEL Classification: J15, L26working papers series
Date posted: August 31, 2008 ; Last revised: March 31, 2010
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