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Gender Discrimination and Firm Profit Efficiency:Evidence from Brazil


  • Wenjun Liu

    (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)

  • Tomokazu Nomura

    (Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University)

  • Shoji Nishijima

    (Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration, Kobe University)


In this study, we investigated discrimination against women within the Brazilian labor market using firm-level data and considering the proportion of female employees as a proxy for the extent of discrimination. Estimating the profit efficiency of firms using data envelopment analysis, and regressing it on the proportion of female employees and other firm characteristics, we found that the proportion of female employees is positively correlated with firm profit efficiency. Our finding indicates that firms employing a high proportion of female workers incur a lower labor cost while producing the same level of output compared to firms employing a low proportion of female employees, and provide strong evidence of the existence of discrimination against female employees within the Brazilian labor market.

Suggested Citation

  • Wenjun Liu & Tomokazu Nomura & Shoji Nishijima, 2011. "Gender Discrimination and Firm Profit Efficiency:Evidence from Brazil," Discussion Papers 1019, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
  • Handle: RePEc:koe:wpaper:1019

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Leopold Simar & Paul Wilson, 2000. "A general methodology for bootstrapping in non-parametric frontier models," Journal of Applied Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 27(6), pages 779-802.
    2. Tomokazu Nomura, 2009. "On the male-female wage differentials in Brazil- Intra-occupational differentials and occupational segregation -," Discussion Papers 0914, Graduate School of Economics, Kobe University.
    3. Paulo R.A. Loureiro & Francisco Galrão Carneiro & Adolfo Sachsida, 2004. "Race and gender discrimination in the labor market: an urban and rural sector analysis for Brazil," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 129-143, May.
    4. Judith K. Hellerstein & David Neumark & Kenneth R. Troske, 2002. "Market Forces and Sex Discrimination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 37(2), pages 353-380.
    5. Rolf Fare & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2002. "Input aggregation and technical efficiency," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(10), pages 635-636.
    6. Simar, Leopold & Wilson, Paul W., 2007. "Estimation and inference in two-stage, semi-parametric models of production processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(1), pages 31-64, January.
    7. Altonji, Joseph G. & Blank, Rebecca M., 1999. "Race and gender in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics,in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 48, pages 3143-3259 Elsevier.
    8. Kawaguchi, Daiji, 2007. "A market test for sex discrimination: Evidence from Japanese firm-level panel data," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 441-460, June.
    9. Léopold Simar & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2007. "Statistical inference for aggregates of Farrell-type efficiencies," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(7), pages 1367-1394.
    10. Daniel J. Henderson & Valentin Zelenyuk, 2007. "Testing for (Efficiency) Catching-up," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 73(4), pages 1003-1019, April.
    11. Valentin Zelenyuk & Vitaliy Zheka, 2006. "Corporate Governance and Firm’s Efficiency: The Case of a Transitional Country, Ukraine," Journal of Productivity Analysis, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 143-157, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.

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