Gender Disparity in Access to Information: Do Spouses Share What They Know?
Summary The United Nations (UN) has declared lack of access to information to be the third major challenge confronting women in developing countries, after poverty and violence. Analyzing a unique dataset of husbands and wives in rural Paraguay, we identify systematic differences between women and men's knowledge of financial markets and find that the factors that help predict individuals' knowledge of these markets vary by gender. Specifically, women are less likely than men to be informed about the financial institutions operating in their communities. Women are more likely to know what is required to obtain loans from financial institutions if they are more educated, live with other adult women, belong to wealthier households, are in a stronger bargaining position vis-à-vis their spouses, or have their husbands' approval to take out entrepreneurial loans.
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