Maternity Risk and the Gender Gap in Entrepreneurship
101 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2020 Last revised: 18 Aug 2020
Date Written: January 13, 2020
I investigate how women’s participation in innovative and regular entrepreneurship responds to a shock to maternity risk. 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 lower maternity risk leads to an increase in the number of young women who become entrepreneurs and in the equity stakes of new female entrepreneurs. The effects are larger for women who join more innovative firms, that become also more likely to be executives and the main owners of their firms. This suggests that easier management of maternity risk reduces the gender gap in entrepreneurship and that maternity risk is more important for women selecting in more innovative entrepreneurial projects.
Keywords: motherhood, entrepreneurship, contraception, finance, gender, gap
JEL Classification: G30, L26, M13, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation