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Tackling the Global Profitarchy : Gender and the Choice of Business Sector (English)

Sectoral segregation is often used to explain a large part of a well-documented gender earnings gap in business profits. Women tend to sort into different sectors than men, and the sectors dominated by women tend to be less profitable. This paper investigates the horizontal dimension of sectoral segregation by studying global data on female and male enterprises operating in sectors that are typically dominated by the same and opposite sex. The analysis uses the novel Future of Business dataset, which spans 97 countries and was administered to enterprise owners, managers, and employees who use Facebook. The analysis finds that some of the earnings gap can indeed be explained by sector choice: female-owned businesses in male-dominated sectors make significantly higher profits than those in traditionally female sectors. The evidence points to a hierarchy of earnings, with male-owned businesses in male-dominated sectors earning the most, women in male-dominated sectors and men in female-concentrated sectors in the middle tier, and women in female-concentrated sectors at the bottom. Correlational analysis suggests that women who own businesses in male-dominated sectors are younger, married, and more likely to have inherited the business than women in female-concentrated sectors. They have similar education to women in female-concentrated sectors and present higher self-efficacy but lower entrepreneurial identity and commitment to the sector. Male support networks appear to be key for female-owned firms, with co-ownership with husbands and male role models factoring into the decision to cross over.


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    Policy Research Working Paper

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    Tackling the Global Profitarchy : Gender and the Choice of Business Sector

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    Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise; small and medium size enterprise; information and communication technology; small business economics; male role model; gender earnings gap; number of workers; crossing over; lack of opportunity; women in management; number of women; total factor productivity; womens career development; gender wage gap; terms of skills; amount of investment; participation of woman; characteristics of woman; opportunity for woman; female respondent; Gender Gap; geographic coverage; female entrepreneur; business performance; occupational segregation; married woman; role models; monthly profit; standard error; moral support; spousal support; wage work; demographic characteristic; entrepreneurial success; Vocational Training; previous job; sector work; firm performance; young woman; woman entrepreneur; indicator variable; Labor Market; female workers; job prospects; collaborative effort; survey instrument; labor productivity; support network; advanced economy; fixed effect; country classification; firm owner; social psychology; total sample; response rate; career path; Programmatic Approach; global scale; internet bandwidth; sampling frame; industry information; business school; household income; field experiment; survey period; exchange rate; Exchange Rates; dry cleaning; automotive repair; household survey; online survey; land transportation; information service; family history; geographic region; mentor program; participation rate; empirical result; binding constraint; business sector; entrepreneurial effort; family ties; digital revolution; business partner; retail trade; entrepreneurial activity; organizational behavior; research assistance; health psychology; funding source; human capital; high probability; development policy; open access; long hour; male peers; older woman; male support; high share; women entrepreneurship; business profit; personal asset; labor economist; business survival; enterprise survey; cross-country evidence; analytical approach; single owner; gender segregation; female enterprise; age difference; gender bias; unmarried woman; business creation; employment flexibility; glass ceiling; organizational psychology; economic prosperity; business culture; career option



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Tackling the Global Profitarchy : Gender and the Choice of Business Sector (English). Policy Research working paper,no. WPS 8865 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.