Gender Differences in Business Performance: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey

46 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2008 Last revised: 15 Apr 2016

See all articles by Robert W. Fairlie

Robert W. Fairlie

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics

Alicia Robb

University of Colorado at Boulder; Next Wave Impact; Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: August 29, 2008

Abstract

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.

Keywords: gender, business performance, women-owned businesses, female entrepreneurship

JEL Classification: J15, L26

Suggested Citation

Fairlie, Robert W. and Robb, Alicia, Gender Differences in Business Performance: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey (August 29, 2008). US Census Bureau Center for Economic Studies Paper No. CES-WP- 08-39. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1260987 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1260987

Robert W. Fairlie

University of California, Santa Cruz - Department of Economics ( email )

Department of Economics
Engineering 2 Bldg.
Santa Cruz, CA 95064
United States
831-459-3332 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://econ.ucsc.edu/~fairlie/

Alicia Robb (Contact Author)

University of Colorado at Boulder ( email )

Leeds Business School
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

Next Wave Impact ( email )

7455 Park Lane Road
Longmount, CO 80503
United States

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

1000 Peachtree Street N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309-4470
United States

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