Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling in Loan Size?
AbstractMicrofinance institutions serve a majority of female borrowers. But do men and women benefit from same credit conditions? This paper investigates this issue by presenting an original model and testing its predictions on an exceptional database including 34,000 loan applications from a Brazilian microfinance institution over an eleven-year period. The model considers a lender that offers standardized loan contracts with a fixed interest rate, which is common practice in microfinance. It demonstrates that biased loan attribution may lead to three different outcomes, depending on the bias intensity: 1) denial of all applications from a given group, 2) a “glass ceiling” effect, namely loan downsizing of the largest projects from a given group, or 3) no impact. The empirical analysis detects no gender bias in approval rate, but uncovers a glass ceiling effect hurting female applicants. Moreover, this effect is insensitive to the credit officer's gender. In conclusion, the good news is that the microfinance practice does ensure a fair access to credit. The bad news is the presence of a glass ceiling faced by female entrepreneurs with larger projects.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series Working Papers CEB with number 10-047.
Length: 33 p.
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
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Microcredit; Microfinance; Discrimination; Loan Size; Loan Approval; Gender;
Other versions of this item:
- Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
- J33 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Compensation Packages; Payment Methods
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2010-10-02 (All new papers)
- NEP-BAN-2010-10-02 (Banking)
- NEP-DEV-2010-10-02 (Development)
- NEP-ENT-2010-10-02 (Entrepreneurship)
- NEP-MFD-2010-10-02 (Microfinance)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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