Capital Structure and Performance Among Women-Owned Firms
Gallant, Alexandra N
Ugaz, Jorge I
Despite steadily increasing market entry over the past two decades, U.S. women-owned firms pale in comparison with their male-owned counterparts in nearly every measurement of productivity, including sales, revenue, job creation, survival rates and market share. Marked differences have been found in sectoral selection, hours worked, firm location, and perhaps most significantly, the amount and source of financing used at start-up and over the lifespan of men- and women-owned businesses. Recent policy initiatives have targeted these discrepancies as part of an effort to remove discriminatory barriers to market access and finance. Though the literature has extensively explored the disparities in access to and use of various financial inputs across genders, limited rigorous research has explored the relationships between diverse financing sources and economic returns, particularly and explicitly among women-owned firms. In particular, the entrepreneurship literature offers insufficient research into the differential relationships internal and external financing hold with firm performance, by owner gender. Without such research, it is impossible to claim that current policy directives will encourage firm performance, as projected. To this end, this thesis uses a fixed effects model to explore the relationships between capital structure and the performance of women-owned businesses.
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