Gender and Banking: Are Women Better Loan Officers?
We analyze gender differences associated with loan officer performance. Using a unique data set for a commercial bank in Albania over the period 1996 to 2006, we find that loans screened and monitored by female loan officers show statistically and economically significant lower default rates than loans handled by male loan officers. This effect comes in addition to a lower default rate of female borrowers and cannot be explained by sample selection, overconfidence of male loan officers or experience differences between female and male loan officers. Our results seem to be driven by differences in monitoring, as loan officers of different gender do not seem to screen borrowers differently based on observable borrower characteristics. This suggests that gender indeed matters in banking.
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