Family Comes First: Reproductive Health and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship

95 Pages Posted: 22 Apr 2019 Last revised: 28 Sep 2021

See all articles by Jonathan Zandberg

Jonathan Zandberg

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: December 17, 2019

Abstract

Better access to reproductive healthcare increases women’s propensity to become entrepreneurs. Access correlates positively with female entrepreneurial activity and negatively with female entrepreneurial age. Examining firm size and personal income suggests it also improves success of female-led businesses. None of these results hold when tested on men, women above 40, or other placebo professions. To establish causality, I exploit Roe v. Wade, state laws restricting abortion providers, and an index tracking state-level regulation of reproductive care. All three analyses suggest that policies securing better reproductive care enable more women to become entrepreneurs. I conclude by discussing various possible channels and mechanisms.

Keywords: Entrepreneurship, The Gender Gap, Roe v. Wade, TRAP Laws, Reproductive Rights, Family Planning

JEL Classification: G30, G38, I14, I18, J13, J16

Suggested Citation

Zandberg, Jonathan, Family Comes First: Reproductive Health and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship (December 17, 2019). Journal of Financial Economics (JFE), Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3362347 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3362347

Jonathan Zandberg (Contact Author)

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania ( email )

The Wharton School
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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