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Firms and gender: performance differentials between male and female firms

Domenico Depalo and Francesca Lotti

No 184, Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) from Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area

Abstract: Many empirical analyses find that the performance of firms headed by women (female firms) varies with respect to those headed by men and that the greatest part of this gap is due to observable characteristics (i.e. gender) related to firms� characteristics. In this paper we evaluate whether this finding also holds for Italy in terms of productivity and returns.The classification of firms by gender follows that prescribed in Law 215/92; for the purposes of this paper only partnerships and private and public corporations were considered, the sole legal forms for which balance sheets are available. Whilst male firms operate in almost all sectors, female firms tend to cluster in those areas where interpersonal relations are most important, namely the retail sector, restaurants, hotels etc.. In terms of performance, measured by profitability and productivity (and even when controlling by sector and company size), there do not appear to be any significant differences between male and female enterprises.

Keywords: female entrepreneurship; gender economic differences (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: J1 L11 L25 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2013-06
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-bec, nep-cfn, nep-cse, nep-dem, nep-eff, nep-ent and nep-sbm
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