Addressing the "Baby-Profit Gap": Testing interventions to boost profits for female-owned businesses
First, this study tests how childcare obligations affect profits, the likelihood of business closures, and ultimately the male-female profit gap among microenterprises. To do this, we add a childcare and fertility module to an ongoing large-scale survey of a representative sample of firms in Kenya. By retrospectively linking this module to closed firms and previous survey rounds, we will measure the correlation between childcare obligations, fertility and firm profits over time (before and during the pandemic and its associated school closures and lockdowns). Second, we will pilot and test multiple interventions aimed at mitigating the "baby-profit gap," or the disparate impact of childcare on the profits of women-owned firms.