Maternity Risk and Female Participation in Innovative Entrepreneurship
81 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2020 Last revised: 14 Apr 2021
Date Written: January 13, 2020
I investigate how participation of women into innovative entrepreneurship responds to a shock to maternity risk, defined as the possibility of an unexpected pregnancy. Exploiting the liberalization of an emergency contraception pill in Italy in 2015, combined with spatial variation in access to abortion at the municipality level, I find that in response to lower maternity risk new female founders have larger equity holdings, make bigger investments, and become more likely to be the first executives and the main owners of their firms. These effects are smaller for women who join less innovative firms, and female participation in self and paid employment is unaffected. I also document a weaker but positive effect on the probability of women to become entrepreneurs. These results highlight the importance of maternity risk for women selecting in innovative entrepreneurship, especially for the intensity of commitment inside the firm.
Keywords: motherhood, entrepreneurship, contraception, finance, gender, gap
JEL Classification: G30, L26, M13, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation