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Why are Africa's female entrepreneurs not playing the export game? Evidence from Ghana

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  • Ackah, Charles Godfred
  • Görg, Holger
  • Hanley, Aoife
  • Hornok, Cecília

Abstract

We explore the export performance of Africa's underperforming female entrepreneurs, using the Ghanaian ISSER-IGC panel, a comprehensive dataset of manufacturing firms for 2011-2015. Uniquely, the data provides information about the severity of key business constraints, across both male and female entrepreneurs. We find that females are less likely to export (and optimize their exporting) than their male peers. Although reduced access to finance seriously constrains the exports of female entrepreneurs, this limitation does not explain their relative inability to leverage value from exports. Consistent with related work, we find that certain social and cultural constraints, in particular constraints linked to bribes and security concerns, are more deeply felt by female entrepreneurs. This may hint at the exclusion of Africa's females (voluntarily or involuntarily) from male-dominated networks or business practices.

Suggested Citation

  • Ackah, Charles Godfred & Görg, Holger & Hanley, Aoife & Hornok, Cecília, 2020. "Why are Africa's female entrepreneurs not playing the export game? Evidence from Ghana," KCG Working Papers 22, Kiel Centre for Globalization (KCG).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:kcgwps:22
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    female entrepreneurship; business constraints; productivity; exporting; Africa; Ghana;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D22 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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