Abstract

Primarily in emerging economies, base-of-the-pyramid markets are highly impoverished contexts in which individuals live on approximately $1-2 per day, accounting for 70% of the world’s population. In base-of-the-pyramid markets, formal institutions are often not well developed and are contexts characterized more accurately as formal institutional voids. Informal institutions can provide a substitute framework to guide transactions in contexts of formal institutional voids, yet norms can marginalize certain categories of individuals (e.g., based on gender, ethnicity, etc.), exacerbating the challenges in base-of-the-pyramid markets. Drawing on institutional theory, network theory, and development research, we examine how gender differences, network composition, and formal institutional voids interact to influence the performance of microentrepreneurs.

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