Credit access for female firms: evidence from a survey on European SMEs
AbstractThis 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 InfoPaper provided by Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area in its series Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) with number 176.
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
financial structure; banking; economics of gender; small business finance;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
- G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
- J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-10-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-CFN-2013-10-02 (Corporate Finance)
- NEP-DEM-2013-10-02 (Demographic Economics)
- NEP-ENT-2013-10-02 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-SBM-2013-10-02 (Small Business Management)
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