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Obstacles to Business, Technology Use, and Firms with Female Principal Owners in Kenya

  • Nidhiya Menon

    (Department of Economics, Brandeis University)

Data on 778 establishments indicates that firms in Kenya rely on technologies such as computers, generators, and cell-phones to conduct operations when regulations, infrastructure, security, workforce, corruption, and finance pose significant hurdles in the business environment. Obstacles related to regulations, security, and workforce, increase the probability of technology ownership, whereas obstacles related to infrastructure in particular, reduces the probability that firms own technology. Results indicate that while all firms rely on technology in the face of regulatory and other obstacles, those with female principal owners experience net effects that are statistically distinct from those experienced by their counterparts. A gender-of-owner disaggregated Oaxaca-Blinder type decomposition of differences in technology ownership indicates that up to 18% of the total gap is unexplained by differences in measurable characteristics between firms that are female-owned and those that are not, suggesting that female-owned firms may own technology to a higher level than is warranted by their observed covariates.

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File URL: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/RePEc/brd/doc/Brandeis_WP20.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School in its series Working Papers with number 20.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:brd:wpaper:20
Contact details of provider: Postal: MS032, P.O. Box 9110, Waltham, MA 02454-9110
Web page: http://www.brandeis.edu/departments/economics/

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  1. Sanyal, Paroma & Menon, Nidhiya, 2005. "Labor Disputes and the Economics of Firm Geography: A Study of Domestic Investment in India," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 825-54, July.
  2. Alberto Alesina & Joeph Zeira, . "Technology and Labor Regulations," Working Papers 0729, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  3. Almeida, Rita & Carneiro, Pedro, 2008. "Enforcement of labor regulation and firm size," Social Protection Discussion Papers 43675, The World Bank.
  4. Amin, Mohammad, 2007. "Are labor regulations driving computer usage in India's retail stores ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4274, The World Bank.
  5. Jenny Aker and Isaac M. Mbiti, 2010. "Mobile Phones and Economic Development in Africa," Working Papers 211, Center for Global Development.
  6. Nidhiya Menon & Paroma Sanyal, 2005. "Labor Conflict and Foreign Investments: An Analysis of FDI in India," Development and Comp Systems 0504006, EconWPA.
  7. Lall, Somik V. & Mengistae, Taye, 2005. "The impact of business environment and economic geography on plant-level productivity : an analysis of Indian industry," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3664, The World Bank.
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