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Discussion or working paper
Rajeev K. Goel ,
Michael A. Nelson

Female Owners Versus Female Managers: Who is Better at Introducing Innovations?

  • Abstract

    This paper uses firm-level survey responses across more than 100 emerging and developing countries to examine whether female managers or female owners of firms were better at bringing innovations to the market. Employing a range of firm-specific and country-specific controls, the econometric results show that female owners of firms, rather than female managers, were more likely to introduce innovations. As expected, innovations resulted from firms engaging in R&D. Larger and older firms reinforced these tendencies; however, sole proprietorships had the opposite effect. The presence of an informal sector and finance availability constraints actually spurred innovation. Finally, the economy-wide effects of greater economic freedom and stronger patent protections were positive, while greater economic prosperity somewhat led to complacency.
  • Keywords

    innovation; female; owners; managers; patent protection; R&D; firm size; sole proprietorship
  • JEL classification

    O32, O33, O57, J16
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