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What drives women out of entrepreneurship? The joint role of testosterone and culture

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  • Luigi Guiso

    (European University Institute and EIEF)

  • Aldo Rustichini

    (Department of Economics, University of Minnesota)

Abstract

The ratio of second to fourth digit (2D4D) has been shown to correlate negatively with entrepreneurial skills and financial success. We document that in a sample of entrepreneurs women have a lower 2D4D ratio than men, in sharp contrast with the features of the distribution in random samples. Exploiting variation across communities in indices correlated with women emancipation, we show that in regions where women are less emancipated their average DR is lower than that of men compared to regions with higher indices. This finding is consistent with the existence of gender related obstacles into entrepreneurship so that only women with well above average entrepreneurial skills find it attractive to self-select into entrepreneurship. This finding can rationalize three facts: a) fewer women than men are entrepreneurs; b) the proportion of women among entrepreneurs tends to be higher in countries with higher women emancipation; c) women who break the barrier into entrepreneurship seem to show more masculine traits. We also find that once women enter entrepreneurship, they are equally able than man to translate their ability into outcomes for the firm.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) in its series EIEF Working Papers Series with number 1102.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 2011
Date of revision: Jan 2011
Handle: RePEc:eie:wpaper:1102

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  1. Dreber, Anna & Emma, von Essen & Ranehill, Eva, 2009. "Outrunning the Gender Gap – Boys and Girls Compete Equally," Research Papers in Economics 2009:17, Stockholm University, Department of Economics, revised 01 Mar 2010.
  2. Luigi Guiso & Fabiano Schivardi, 2008. "What determines entrepreneurial clusters?," EIEF Working Papers Series 0806, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised May 2008.
  3. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
  4. Uri Gneezy & Aldo Rustichini, 2004. "Gender and competition at a young age," Framed Field Experiments 00151, The Field Experiments Website.
  5. Luigi Guiso & Monica Paiella, 2007. "Risk Aversion, Wealth, and Background Risk," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/47, European University Institute.
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Cited by:
  1. Ruiu, Gabriele, 2012. "Is fatalism a cultural belief? An empirical analysis on the origin of fatalistic tendencies," MPRA Paper 41705, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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