Crossovers: Female Entrepreneurs Who Enter Male Sectors -- Evidence from Ethiopia

25 Pages Posted: 18 May 2017

Date Written: May 16, 2017

Abstract

Occupational sector selection is an important determinant of returns for female entrepreneurs. If sectors that are traditionally male owned could provide an opportunity to earn higher returns, then what factors could encourage women to cross over into these sectors or prevent them from doing so? To examine this question, this paper uses data from Ethiopia to compare the firm performance and characteristics of women in male-dominated sectors (crossovers) with women who are in female-concentrated sectors (noncrossovers). The findings show that female-owned enterprises in male-dominated sectors perform better on average than those in female-concentrated sectors, with firms achieving higher profits and having more employees. The descriptive results show that crossovers do not necessarily have more education or greater skills than noncrossovers. Rather, women's relationships and networks, especially those provided through male relatives, and being opportunity-driven entrepreneurs appear to influence the likelihood of entering a more-profitable, male-dominated sector. The study explores the implications and challenges of encouraging female entrepreneurs to enter male-dominated sectors, in an effort to provide new insight into how the earning gap between male and female entrepreneurs can be closed.

Keywords: Marketing, Private Sector Economics, Private Sector Development Law

Suggested Citation

Alibhai, Salman and Buehren, Niklas and Papineni, Sreelakshmi and Pierotti, Rachael Susan, Crossovers: Female Entrepreneurs Who Enter Male Sectors -- Evidence from Ethiopia (May 16, 2017). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 8065, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2969649

Salman Alibhai (Contact Author)

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Niklas Buehren

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Sreelakshmi Papineni

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Rachael Susan Pierotti

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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