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Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar


  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil

    () (IRD, DIAL, Paris-Dauphine)

  • Vaillant, Julia

    () (World Bank)


We use a representative sample of informal entrepreneurs in Madagascar to add new evidence on the magnitude of the gender performance gap. After controlling for business and entrepreneur characteristics, female-owned businesses exhibit a value added 28 percent lower than their male counterparts. Correcting for endogenous selection into informal self-employment raises the gap by 5 percentage points. We then investigate the role of sharing norms and gender-differentiated allocation of time within the household in the gender performance gap, by estimating their effect on the technical inefficiency of female and male entrepreneurs. Only male entrepreneurs seem subject to pressure to redistribute from the distant network. Our findings are consistent with situations where women working at home would essentially feel negatively the burden of their own community due to intense social norms and obligations in their workplace but also of domestic chores and responsibilities. We find evidence of females self-selecting themselves into industries in which they can combine market-oriented and domestic activities.

Suggested Citation

  • Nordman, Christophe Jalil & Vaillant, Julia, 2014. "Inputs, Gender Roles or Sharing Norms? Assessing the Gender Performance Gap Among Informal Entrepreneurs in Madagascar," IZA Discussion Papers 8046, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8046

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    Cited by:

    1. Huu Chi Nguyen & Christophe Nordman, 2014. "Household entrepreneurship and social networks:panel data evidence from Vietnam," Working Papers DT/2014/22, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
    2. Nordman, Christophe J. & Rakotomanana, Faly & Roubaud, François, 2016. "Informal versus Formal: A Panel Data Analysis of Earnings Gaps in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 1-17.
    3. Herrera, Catalina & Sahn, David E. & Villa, Kira M., 2016. "Teen Fertility and Labor Market Segmentation: Evidence from Madagascar," IZA Discussion Papers 10464, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Marie Boltz & Karine Marazyan & Paola Villar, 2016. "Income Hiding and Informal Redistribution: A Lab in the Field Experiment in Senegal," PSE Working Papers halshs-01157710, HAL.
    5. Herrera Catalina & E. Sahn David & M. Villa Kira, 2017. "Working Paper 279 - Teen Fertility and Labor Market Segmentation in Madagascar," Working Paper Series 2396, African Development Bank.
    6. repec:dau:papers:123456789/14463 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Herrera, Catalina & Sahn, David & Villa, Kira, 2016. "Early Fertility and Labor Market Segmentation: Evidence from Madagascar," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235749, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    gender; entrepreneurship; informal sector; sharing norms; household composition; Madagascar;

    JEL classification:

    • D13 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Production and Intrahouse Allocation
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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