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Gender Disparity in Access to Information: Do Spouses Share What They Know?

  • Fletschner, Diana
  • Mesbah, Dina
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    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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    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305750X11000088
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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal World Development.

    Volume (Year): 39 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (August)
    Pages: 1422-1433

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:39:y:2011:i:8:p:1422-1433
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/worlddev

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    1. Romer, Paul, 1993. "Idea gaps and object gaps in economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 543-573, December.
    2. Zwarteveen, M. Z., 1996. "A plot of one's own: gender relations and irrigated land allocation policies in Burkina Faso," IWMI Research Reports H019079, International Water Management Institute.
    3. Fletschner, Diana & Carter, Michael R., 2008. "Constructing and reconstructing gender: Reference group effects and women's demand for entrepreneurial capital," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 672-693, April.
    4. Stefan Dercon & Pramila Krishnan, 1997. "In sickness and in health... risk-sharing within households in rural Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1997-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    5. Diana Fletschner, 2008. "Women's Access to Credit: Does It Matter for Household Efficiency?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 90(3), pages 669-683.
    6. Fletschner, Diana, 2009. "Rural Women's Access to Credit: Market Imperfections and Intrahousehold Dynamics," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 618-631, March.
    7. Nava Ashraf, 2009. "Spousal Control and Intra-household Decision Making: An Experimental Study in the Philippines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1245-77, September.
    8. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
    9. Doss, Cheryl R, 2001. "Is Risk Fully Pooled within the Household? Evidence from Ghana," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 50(1), pages 101-30, October.
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