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Do Women Pay More For Credit? Evidence From Italy

  • Alberto F. Alesina
  • Francesca Lotti
  • Paolo Emilio Mistrulli

The answer is yes. By using a unique and large data set on overdraft contracts between banks and microfirms and self-employed individuals, we find robust evidence that women in Italy pay more for overdraft facilities than men. We could not find any evidence that women are riskier then men. The male/female differential remains even after controlling for a large number of characteristics of the type of business, the borrower and the market structure of the credit market. The result is not driven by women using a different type of bank than men, since the same bank charges different rates to male and female borrowers. Social capital does play a role: high levels of trust loosen credit conditions by lowering interest rates, but this benefit is not evenly distributed, as women benefit from increased social capital less than men.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1542-4774.2012.01100.x
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Article provided by European Economic Association in its journal Journal of the European Economic Association.

Volume (Year): 11 (2013)
Issue (Month): (01)
Pages: 45-66

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jeurec:v:11:y:2013:i::p:45-66
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  1. Marianne Bertrand & Dean S. Karlan & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," Working Papers 918, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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  10. Marianne Bertrand & Dean Karlin & Sendhil Mullainathan & Eldar Shafir & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "What's Psychology Worth? A Field Experiment in the Consumer Credit Market," NBER Working Papers 11892, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Charles W. Calomiris & Charles M. Kahn & Stanley D. Longhofer, 1994. "Housing-finance intervention and private incentives: helping minorities and the poor," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 634-678.
  12. Berger, Allen N & Udell, Gregory F, 1995. "Relationship Lending and Lines of Credit in Small Firm Finance," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 68(3), pages 351-81, July.
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