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Sex and Credit: Is There a Gender Bias in Lending?

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  • Thorsten Beck
  • Patrick Behr
  • Andreas Madestam

Abstract

We exploit the quasi-random assignment of borrowers to loan officers using data from a large Albanian lender to show that own-gender preferences affect both credit supply and demand. Borrowers matched to officers of the opposite sex are less likely to return for a second loan. The effect is larger when officers have little prior exposure to borrowers of the other gender and when they have more discretion to act on their gender beliefs, as proxied by financial market competition and branch size. We examine one channel of influence, loan conditionality. Borrowers assigned to opposite-sex officers pay higher interest rates and receive lower loan amounts, but do not experience higher arrears. Our results imply that own-gender preferences in the credit market can have substantial negative welfare effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Thorsten Beck & Patrick Behr & Andreas Madestam, 2011. "Sex and Credit: Is There a Gender Bias in Lending?," Working Papers 411, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:411
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Simon Quinn & Tom Gole, 2014. "Committees and Status Quo Bias: Structural Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," Economics Series Working Papers 733, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Yaldız Hanedar, Elmas & Broccardo, Eleonora & Bazzana, Flavio, 2014. "Collateral requirements of SMEs: The evidence from less-developed countries," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 106-121.
    3. Rolando Gonzales & Gabriela Aguilera-Lizarazu & Andrea Rojas-Hosse & Patricia Aranda, 2016. "Preference for women but less preference for indigenous women: A lab-field experiment of loan discrimination in a developing economy," Working Papers PIERI 2016-24, PEP-PIERI.
    4. Geoffrey Barrows, 2018. "Do Entrepreneurship Policies Work? Evidence From 460 Start-Up Program Competitions Across the Globe," Policy Papers 2018.02, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    5. Juri Marcucci & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2013. "Female entrepreneurs in trouble: do their bad loans last longer?," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 185, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    6. Beatriz Cuéllar-Fernández & Yolanda Fuertes-Callén & Carlos Serrano-Cinca & Begoña Gutiérrez-Nieto, 2016. "Determinants of margin in microfinance institutions," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(4), pages 300-311, January.
    7. 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.
    8. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John, 2013. "Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture Lending to women in microfinance: influence of social trust and national culture," Working Paper 1317, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
    9. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:48:y:2016:i:8:p:1691-1724 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Behr, Patrick & Drexler, Alejandro & Gropp, Reint & Guettler, Andre, 2014. "Financial incentives and loan officer behavior: Multitasking and allocation of effort under an incomplete contract," SAFE Working Paper Series 62, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    11. Suparna Chakraborty, 2014. "Laws, attitudes and financial inclusion of women: A cross-country investigation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(1), pages 333-353.
    12. Ina Ganguli & Ricardo Hausmann & Martina Viarengo, 2017. "Career dynamics and gender gaps among employees in the microfinance sector," WIDER Working Paper Series 117, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    13. Steven Ongena & Alexander Popov, 2016. "Gender Bias and Credit Access," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(8), pages 1691-1724, December.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • G32 - Financial Economics - - Corporate Finance and Governance - - - Financing Policy; Financial Risk and Risk Management; Capital and Ownership Structure; Value of Firms; Goodwill
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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