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Firm performance characteristics and gender ownership in a Globalised Economy

Frances Ruane andJulie Sutherland

This paper extends existing research on firm heterogeneity by exploring whether differences in firm performance characteristics may in part be related to the gender of the proprietor of the firm. Using a data set of Irish manufacturing firms covering the period 1993 to 2002, we estimate multivariate regression models comparing the performance of female-owned and male-female joint ownership firms with firms owned by males only. When compared with all other firm types, female-owned firms exhibit inferior firm performance characteristics. However, when we control for the ownership structure of the firm and compare female sole-proprietor firms with male sole-proprietor firms, the under-performance difference is reduced. Examining separately firms that are jointly owned by males and females we find that joint ownership firms significantly under-perform those owned by males.

KEY WORDS: Firm performance, gender

JEL Classification: D21, J16, L25

Last updated 28 August 2014 by IIIS (Email).