Gender Differences in Business Performance: Evidence from the Characteristics of Business Owners Survey
46 Pages Posted: 31 Aug 2008 Last revised: 15 Apr 2016
Date Written: August 29, 2008
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: Suggested Citation