Does the Gender of the Owner Affect the Productivity of Enterprises in India’s Informal Economy?




gender, productivity gap, decomposition methods, informal sector, India


We examine the patterns and correlates of the productivity gap between
male- and female-owned enterprises in India’s informal sector.
Female-owned firms are 45 per cent less productive than male-owned firms
on average, with the greatest productivity gaps observed at the lower end of
the productivity distribution. We measure a firm’s productivity in terms of
its labour productivity. Using decomposition methods, we find that
structural effects account for approximately 73 per cent of the productivity
gap, with the remainder attributable to differences in observable
characteristics captured by composition effects. We also find that, among
observable characteristics, the most important set of factors explaining the
gender productivity gap are the characteristics of a firm, such as its size,
age, receipt of government assistance, registration with state authorities,
contract-based work, and accounting records. Male-owned firms have a
competitive advantage over female-owned enterprises with respect to these


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How to Cite

Gang, I., Natarajan, R. R., Sen, K., & Yun, M.-S. (2022). Does the Gender of the Owner Affect the Productivity of Enterprises in India’s Informal Economy?. Journal of Income Distribution®, 31(3-4).