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Another Perspective on Gender Specific Access to Credit in Africa

  • Henrik Hansen


    (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

  • John Rand


    (Institute of Food and Resource Economics, University of Copenhagen)

Using firm level data from eight Sub-Saharan Africa countries we examine credit constraint differentials between male and female manufacturing entrepreneurs. Enterprises owned by female entrepreneurs are less likely to be credit constrained compared to their male counterparts. The magnitude of this credit constraint gap varies with constraint and ownership definitions but the direction of the gap does not. Using a generalized Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, we investigate if the gap is due to differences in observable characteristics or to unexplained variations in the returns to these characteristics. We find the gap to be associated with the unexplained component. We argue that the finding is mainly due to female gender favoritism in loans to micro and small firms because (i) the gap is reversed for medium size enterprises and, (ii) we find no sign of superior female entrepreneurial performance in terms of capacity utilization, labor productivity or firm size growth.

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Paper provided by University of Copenhagen, Department of Food and Resource Economics in its series IFRO Working Paper with number 2011/14.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:foi:wpaper:2011_14
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  1. Bruce Byiers & John Rand & Finn Tarp & Jeanet Bentzen, 2010. "Credit demand in Mozambican manufacturing," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 37-55.
  2. Aterido, Reyes & Beck, Thorsten & Iacovone, Leonardo, 2011. "Gender and finance in Sub-Saharan Africa : are women disadvantaged ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5571, The World Bank.
  3. Ben Jann, 2008. "A Stata implementation of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition," ETH Zurich Sociology Working Papers 5, ETH Zurich, Chair of Sociology, revised 14 May 2008.
  4. Buvinic, Mayra & Berger, Marguerite, 1990. "Sex differences in access to a small enterprise development fund in Peru," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 695-705, May.
  5. Arne Bigsten & Måns Söderbom, 2011. "Industrial Strategies for Economic Recovery and Long-term Growth in Africa," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 23(2), pages 161-171.
  6. Fisman Raymond J, 2003. "Ethnic Ties and the Provision of Credit: Relationship-Level Evidence from African Firms," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-21, October.
  7. Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Måns Söderbom & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Catherine Pattillo & Francis Teal & Albert Zeu, 2000. "Credit constraints in manufacturing enterprises in Africa," CSAE Working Paper Series 2000-24, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Fafchamps, Marcel, 2000. "Ethnicity and credit in African manufacturing," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 205-235, February.
  9. Van Biesebroeck, Johannes, 2005. "Exporting raises productivity in sub-Saharan African manufacturing firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 373-391, December.
  10. repec:rwi:dpaper:0049 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Arne Bigsten & Mans Söderbom, 2006. "What Have We Learned from a Decade of Manufacturing Enterprise Surveys in Africa?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 21(2), pages 241-265.
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