Female Managers and the Gender-Based Gap in Education: Evidence from Firm-Level Data in Developing Countries
18 Pages Posted: 17 Jun 2013
Date Written: June 16, 2013
A number of studies have analyzed differences in males and females in labor market participation rates and the level of wages. Some of these gender-based differences have also been linked to differences in the level of education between males and females. The present paper contributes to this literature by analyzing the relationship between the proclivity of a firm having a female top manager and the level of education among female relative to males in the country. Using firm-level data for 65 developing countries, we find strong evidence that countries with high female enrollment rates in primary, secondary and tertiary education relative to males have a significantly higher proportion of female managers. We also find that the positive relationship between education among females relative to males and the proportion of female managers is much stronger in countries with poor quality of democracy and in countries with no laws mandating the provision of child care. That is, increasing education among females substitute for poor quality of democracy and the lack provision of child care laws with regards to expanding the proportion of females in managerial positions in the country.
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