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Household Business Performance in Ghana : The Role of Personality Traits and Gender Role Attitudes
World Bank
2024.06.14
The informal sector contributes significantly to the total output and employment of low-income countries. While women-owned businesses feature strongly in these informal environments, they are generally characterized by low productivity. This paper explores how household business performance may be influenced by owners’ personality traits and their attitudes toward gender roles. Using multi-topic household survey data collected in two regions of Ghana, the results show that among female business owners, being organized is an important determinant of business success, while among male business owners, power motivation and tenacity are important factors. However, increasing traditionalism tends to dampen the effects of these personality traits for both genders. Other factors that are positively correlated with women-owned business performance include business registration, separating expenses for home and business purposes, ownership of a business bank account, use of social media, as well as urban location of the business. For men-owned businesses, the results show that those that are located in traditional markets, have bank accounts, and use literate employees in their operations tend to perform better. The findings imply that policies that aim to boost women-owned business performance need to consider the main barriers, especially attitudes toward gender roles, that may determine how businesses operate in these settings. The results also suggest the importance of soft skills to boost business performance among men- and women-owned businesses.