Are Early Stage Investors Biased Against Women?
58 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2017 Last revised: 6 May 2018
Date Written: April 29, 2018
We examine whether male investors are biased against female entrepreneurs using a proprietary dataset from AngelList that allows us to observe private interactions between investors and fundraising startups. We find that male investors express less interest in female-led startups compared to observably similar male-led startups. Female investors do not exhibit the same behavior, despite appearing to have similar investment objectives; female investors agree with male investors when comparing founders who are all men, or all women. Finally, the male-led startups that male investors express interest in do not outperform the female-led startups they express interest in—they underperform. Overall, the evidence is consistent with some form of gender bias.
Keywords: gender, entrepreneurship, angel investing, venture capital
JEL Classification: J71, G24
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