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What Constrains Financial Inclusion for Women? Evidence from Indian Micro data

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  • Ghosh, Saibal
  • Vinod, D.

Abstract

The role and relevance of gender in financial inclusion has been an evolving area of research in recent times. Although there are several cross-country studies on this aspect, few within-country studies have addressed this issue in a comprehensive manner. In this context, exploiting disaggregated household-level data for India, we analyze the interface between gender and finance. More specifically, we examine whether gender matters for financial inclusion and if so, what are the possible factors that influence this relationship. Our findings suggest significant disparity in both the access to as well as the use of finance by gender. On average, female-headed households are 8% less likely to access formal finance and 6% more likely to access informal finance as compared to households that are headed by males, after taking into account other relevant household and state-level characteristics that are important in explaining financial access by households. Similar evidence carries over to the use of finance: households headed by female use 20% less cash loans as compared to male-headed households. Subsequently, we investigate the possible channels which impede financial inclusion for female-headed households. Our analysis highlights that for female-headed households, education and wages are more relevant in explaining the access to finance whereas political and social factors are much more germane in explaining the use of finance.

Suggested Citation

  • Ghosh, Saibal & Vinod, D., 2017. "What Constrains Financial Inclusion for Women? Evidence from Indian Micro data," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 92(C), pages 60-81.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:wdevel:v:92:y:2017:i:c:p:60-81
    DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2016.11.011
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    Cited by:

    1. Grohmann, Antonia & Klühs, Theres & Menkhoff, Lukas, 2018. "Does financial literacy improve financial inclusion? Cross country evidence," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 84-96.
    2. Sholevar, Maryam & Harris, Laurence, 2019. "Mind the gap: A discussion paper on Financial Literacy, Financial behaviour and Financial Education : Is there any Gender Gap?," OSF Preprints b7zd6, Center for Open Science.
    3. Elena Reboul & Isabelle Guérin & Antony Raj & G. Venkatasubramanian, 2019. "Managing Economic Volatility. A Gender Perspective," Working Papers CEB 19-015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Soumyadeep Banerjee & Abid Hussain & Sabarnee Tuladhar & Arabinda Mishra, 2019. "Building capacities of women for climate change adaptation: Insights from migrant-sending households in Nepal," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 157(3), pages 587-609, December.
    5. Chandralekha Ghosh & Rimita Hom Chaudhury, 2019. "Gender Gap in case of Financial Inclusion: An Empirical Analysis in Indian Context," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(4), pages 2615-2630.
    6. Steinert, Janina I. & Zenker, Juliane & Filipiak, Ute & Movsisyan, Ani & Cluver, Lucie D. & Shenderovich, Yulia, 2018. "Do saving promotion interventions increase household savings, consumption, and investments in Sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic review and meta-analysis," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 238-256.
    7. Disha Bhanot & Varadraj Bapat, 2019. "Contributory factors towards sustainability of bank-linked self-help groups in India," Asia-Pacific Sustainable Development Journal, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), vol. 26(2), pages 25-55, December.
    8. Touheda Yasmin Chowdhury & Aysa Yeasmin & Zobayer Ahmed, 2018. "Perception of women entrepreneurs to accessing bank credit," Journal of Global Entrepreneurship Research, Springer;UNESCO Chair in Entrepreneurship, vol. 8(1), pages 1-16, December.
    9. Taghizadeh-Hesary, Farhad & Yoshino, Naoyuki & Fukuda, Lisa, 2019. "Gender and Corporate Success: An Empirical Analysis of Gender-Based Corporate Performance on a Sample of Asian Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises," ADBI Working Papers 937, Asian Development Bank Institute.
    10. Cyn-Young Park & Rogelio Mercado Jr., 2018. "Financial Inclusion: New Measurement and Cross-Country Impact Assessment," Working Papers wp29, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre.
    11. Bao Zhu & Shiting Zhai & Jing He, 2018. "Is the Development of China’s Financial Inclusion Sustainable? Evidence from a Perspective of Balance," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 10(4), pages 1-16, April.
    12. Isabelle Guérin & Christophe Nordman & Elena Reboul, 2019. "The gender of debt and the financialisation of development. Insights from rural southern India," Working Papers CEB 19-016, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. Osei-Tutu, Francis & Weill, Laurent, 2020. "Sex, language, and financial inclusion," BOFIT Discussion Papers 9/2020, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    14. Adegbite, Olayinka O. & Machethe, Charles L., 2020. "Bridging the financial inclusion gender gap in smallholder agriculture in Nigeria: An untapped potential for sustainable development," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    15. Ozili, Peterson K, 2020. "Theories of financial inclusion," MPRA Paper 101810, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    16. Shruti Malik & Girish Chandra Maheshwari & Archana Singh, 2019. "Understanding Financial Inclusion in India: A Theoretical Framework Building Through SAP–LAP and Efficient IRP," Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management, Springer;Global Institute of Flexible Systems Management, vol. 20(2), pages 117-140, June.
    17. Seng, Kimty, 2019. "The Poverty-Reducing Effects of Financial Inclusion: Evidence from Cambodia," MPRA Paper 95726, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 26 Aug 2019.

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    gender; financial inclusion; discrimination; India;

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