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Credit access for female firms: evidence from a survey on European SMEs

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  • Maria Lucia Stefani

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

  • Valerio Vacca

    ()
    (Bank of Italy)

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    Abstract

    This paper uses ECB survey data to assess whether gender matters in the small firms’ financial structure and access to credit. Firms owned or managed by women (female firms) use smaller amounts and less heterogeneous sources of external finance than their male counterparts. According to statistical evidence, female firms have difficulty in accessing bank finance: on the demand side, they apply for bank loans less frequently, as they more often anticipate a rejection; on the supply side, they experience a higher rejection rate. Econometric analysis shows that these different patterns are largely explained by the characteristics (such as business size, age and sector of activity) that make female firms structurally different from those led by men, without leaving room for a significant gender effect. An additional contribution of this paper is to compare the major euro-area countries within a homogeneous framework: weak evidence of gender discrimination appears in the supply of bank loans in Germany, Italy and Spain, while some demand obstacles arise in France.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 176.

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    Date of creation: Jun 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:bdi:opques:qef_176_13

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    Keywords: financial structure; banking; economics of gender; small business finance;

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    1. Thomas Dohmen & Armin Falk & David Huffman & Uwe Sunde & Jürgen Schupp & Gert G. Wagner, 2005. "Individual Risk Attitudes: New Evidence from a Large, Representative, Experimentally-Validated Survey," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 511, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Andrea Bellucci & Alexander V. Borisov & Alberto Zazzaro, 2009. "Does Gender Matter in Bank-Firm Relationships? Evidence from Small Business Lending," Mo.Fi.R. Working Papers, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences 31, Money and Finance Research group (Mo.Fi.R.) - Univ. Politecnica Marche - Dept. Economic and Social Sciences.
    3. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Laeven, Luc & Maksimovic, Vojislav, 2006. "The determinants of financing obstacles," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 25(6), pages 932-952, October.
    4. Alberto F. Alesina & Francesca Lotti & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2013. "Do Women Pay More For Credit? Evidence From Italy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 45-66, 01.
    5. Ken S. Cavalluzzo, 2002. "Competition, Small Business Financing, and Discrimination: Evidence from a New Survey," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 641-680, October.
    6. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-74, June.
    7. Susan Coleman & Alicia Robb, 2009. "A comparison of new firm financing by gender: evidence from the Kauffman Firm Survey data," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 33(4), pages 397-411, December.
    8. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr & Schäfer, Dorothea, 2009. "Entrepreneurs' gender and financial constraints: Evidence from international data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 270-286, June.
    9. Cavalluzzo, Ken S & Cavalluzzo, Linda C, 1998. "Market Structure and Discrimination: The Case of Small Businesses," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 30(4), pages 771-92, November.
    10. Verheul, I. & Thurik, R., 1999. "Start-Up Capital: Differences Between Male and Female Entrepreneurs. 'Does Gender Matter'?," Papers, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM 9910/e, NEUHUYS - RESEARCH INSTITUTE FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM.
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