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Rural Women's Access to Credit: Market Imperfections and Intrahousehold Dynamics

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  • Fletschner, Diana
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    Abstract

    Summary Credit rationing studies carried out at the household level and based on responses from male heads of households present an incomplete and biased assessment of who is likely to be constrained, why they are constrained, and what is the extent of the constraints. They ignore possibly conflictive intrahousehold dynamics and assume that imperfections in rural financial markets are gender-neutral. This paper addresses both issues theoretically and empirically. The Semi-Cooperative Household model developed for this analysis formalizes the conditions under which spouses', and particularly women's, individual access to credit can be affected by their own position in the financial market as well as by intrahousehold dynamics. These notions are then explored empirically using husbands' and wives' individual perceptions of their access to credit in rural Paraguay. The most significant empirical findings of the paper are that (i) compared to men, women are more likely to be credit constrained; (ii) women's rationing status responds to a different set of factors than men's; and (iii) husbands may choose not to intermediate capital to their wives even when they are able to do so. Results from this exercise provide empirically sound support for the assumptions underlying women-targeted credit programs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 3 (March)
    Pages: 618-631

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:37:y:2009:i:3:p:618-631

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    Keywords: credit intrahousehold decision-making women Latin America Paraguay;

    References

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    1. Petrick, Martin, 2003. "Empirical measurement of credit rationing in agriculture: a methodological survey," IAMO Discussion Papers 45, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).
    2. Baydas, Mayada M. & Meyer, Richard L. & Aguilera-Alfred, Nelson, 1994. "Discrimination against women in formal credit markets: Reality or rhetoric?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(7), pages 1073-1082, July.
    3. Lundberg, S. & Pollak, R.A., 1991. "Separate Spheres Bargaining and the Marriage Market," Working Papers 91-08, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    4. Tauchen, Helen V & Witte, Ann Dryden & Long, Sharon K, 1991. "Domestic Violence: A Nonrandom Affair," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 32(2), pages 491-511, May.
    5. Diagne, Aliou & Zeller, Manfred, 2001. "Access to credit and its impact on welfare in Malawi:," Research reports 116, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    6. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker, 1998. "The Impact of Group-Based Credit Programs on Poor Households in Bangladesh: Does the Gender of Participants Matter?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(5), pages 958-996, October.
    7. Fletschner, Diana & Carter, Michael R., 2008. "Constructing and reconstructing gender: Reference group effects and women's demand for entrepreneurial capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 672-693, April.
    8. Besley, T., 1993. "Savings, Credit and Insurance," Papers 167, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
    9. repec:fth:oxesaf:94.17 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Diana Fletschner, 2008. "Women's Access to Credit: Does It Matter for Household Efficiency?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 669-683.
    11. Mark M. Pitt & Shahidur R. Khandker & Omar Haider Chowdhury & Daniel L. Millimet, 2003. "Credit Programs for the Poor And the Health Status of Children in Rural Bangladesh," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 87-118, February.
    12. Barham, Bradford L. & Boucher, Stephen & Carter, Michael R., 1996. "Credit constraints, credit unions, and small-scale producers in Guatemala," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 24(5), pages 793-806, May.
    13. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
    14. Zeller, Manfred, 1994. "Determinants of credit rationing: A study of informal lenders and formal credit groups in Madagascar," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 22(12), pages 1895-1907, December.
    15. Jappelli, Tullio, 1990. "Who Is Credit Constrained in the U.S. Economy?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 105(1), pages 219-34, February.
    16. Boucher, Stephen R. & Guirkinger, Catherine & Trivelli, Carolina, 2006. "Direct Elicitation of Credit Constraints: Conceptual and Practical Issues with an Empirical Application to Peruvian Agriculture," Working Papers 6883, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
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    Cited by:
    1. Hartarska, Valentina & Mersland, Roy & Nadolnyak, Denis, 2013. "Are Women Better Bankers to the Poor? Evidence from Rural Microfinance Institutions," 2014 Allied Social Science Association (ASSA) Annual Meeting, January 3-5, 2014, Philadelphia, PA 161653, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    2. Malapit, Hazel Jean L., 2012. "Why do spouses hide income?," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 41(5), pages 584-593.
    3. Claudia Piras & Andrea Filippo Presbitero & Roberta Rabellotti, 2013. "Definitions Matter: Measuring Gender Gaps in Firms' Access to Credit," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers 90, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    4. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Female Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," Working Papers halshs-00874448, HAL.
    5. Fletschner, Diana & Mesbah, Dina, 2011. "Gender Disparity in Access to Information: Do Spouses Share What They Know?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 39(8), pages 1422-1433, August.

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