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