The Economics Department at MGSHSS, LUMS is organising a talk titled “Home-bias among Female Entrepreneurs: Experimental Evidence on Preferences from Pakistan” by Farah Said.
Enterprises run by women in developing countries are often short-lived and small. Using data from an RCT with aspiring female entrepreneurs in Pakistan, we find that providing loans and training leads to the creation of new businesses, but confirm that this effect is short-lived. Moreover, four out of five new micro-enterprises are home-based. Through novel incentivised tasks, we find that both women and male decision-makers in their household favour women setting up a business, but display ‘home-bias’ in preferred business location and are willing to give up almost sixty percent of median profits for running the business from home. Women also exhibit a ‘home-bias’ by refraining from taking advice of outsiders, even when it can increase task earnings. Our findings indicate that internalized gender norms may contribute to explaining the small scale and life of businesses operated by women. Development interventions must take these gender norms into account when promoting female entrepreneurship.
Dr. Farah Said is a Research Fellow at the Center for Research in Economics and Business (CREB) and an Assistant Professor at the Department of Economics, Lahore School of Economics. Her current research focuses on measurement of female agency in low-income households, investigating and alleviating constraints for women to take up salaried and wage work and/or engage in enterprise, and testing behavioral interventions to encourage desirable behavior, such as time payment of bills, contractual repayments, savings and applying for jobs.