IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Corruption Discourage More Female Entrepreneurs from Applying for Credit?


  • Jean-Christophe STATNIK

    (Université de Lille, Yncréa Lille)

  • Thi-Le Giang VU

    (Université de Lille)

  • Laurent WEILL

    (LaRGE Research Center, Université de Strasbourg)


There is evidence of a gender gap in access to finance. In this paper, we test the hypothesis that corruption discourages more female than male entrepreneurs from applying for credit. We use data on access to credit and corruption at the firm level for a large dataset of firms from 68 countries worldwide. We demonstrate that female entrepreneurs are more discouraged by corruption to ask for credit than male borrowers. We find evidence for two explanations for the gendered impact of corruption on borrower discouragement: women have less experience in management than men and as such can have less experience to deal with corruption, and gender inequality in society enhances the discouragement of female borrowers. Thus, our findings provide evidence that corruption enhances the gender gap in access to finance, enhancing gender inequality in participation in economic activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Jean-Christophe STATNIK & Thi-Le Giang VU & Laurent WEILL, 2021. "Does Corruption Discourage More Female Entrepreneurs from Applying for Credit?," Working Papers of LaRGE Research Center 2021-05, Laboratoire de Recherche en Gestion et Economie (LaRGE), Université de Strasbourg.
  • Handle: RePEc:lar:wpaper:2021-05

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Han, Liang & Fraser, Stuart & Storey, David J., 2009. "Are good or bad borrowers discouraged from applying for loans? Evidence from US small business credit markets," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 415-424, February.
    2. Muehlheusser, Gerd & Roider, Andreas & Wallmeier, Niklas, 2015. "Gender differences in honesty: Groups versus individuals," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 128(C), pages 25-29.
    3. Martin Brown & Steven Ongena & Alexander Popov & Pinar Yeşin, 2011. "Who needs credit and who gets credit in Eastern Europe? [Interaction terms in logit and probit models]," Economic Policy, CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 26(65), pages 93-130.
    4. Swamy, Anand & Knack, Stephen & Lee, Young & Azfar, Omar, 2001. "Gender and corruption," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-55, February.
    5. Alberto F. Alesina & Francesca Lotti & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2013. "Do Women Pay More For Credit? Evidence From Italy," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 11, pages 45-66, January.
    6. Beck, Thorsten & Demirgüç-Kunt, Asli & Singer, Dorothe, 2013. "Is Small Beautiful? Financial Structure, Size and Access to Finance," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 19-33.
    7. Fungáčová, Zuzana & Kochanova, Anna & Weill, Laurent, 2015. "Does Money Buy Credit? Firm-Level Evidence on Bribery and Bank Debt," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 308-322.
    8. Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Weill, Laurent, 2010. "Is Corruption an Efficient Grease?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 244-259, March.
    9. Vanessa Naegels & Neema Mori & Bert D’Espallier, 2018. "An institutional view on access to finance by Tanzanian women-owned enterprises," Venture Capital, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 20(2), pages 191-210, April.
    10. Gama, Ana Paula Matias & Duarte, Fábio Dias & Esperança, José Paulo, 2017. "Why discouraged borrowers exist? An empirical (re)examination from less developed countries," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(C), pages 19-41.
    11. Chakravarty, Sugato & Xiang, Meifang, 2013. "The international evidence on discouraged small businesses," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 63-82.
    12. Charness, Gary & Gneezy, Uri, 2012. "Strong Evidence for Gender Differences in Risk Taking," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 50-58.
    13. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, December.
    14. Grosch, Kerstin & Rau, Holger, 2017. "Gender differences in honesty: The role of social value orientation," University of Göttingen Working Papers in Economics 308, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
    15. Vivi Alatas & Lisa Cameron & Ananish Chaudhuri & Nisvan Erkal & Lata Gangadharan, 2009. "Gender, Culture, and Corruption: Insights from an Experimental Analysis," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 75(3), pages 663-680, January.
    16. Elizabeth Asiedu & James A. Freeman & Akwasi Nti-Addae, 2012. "Access to Credit by Small Businesses: How Relevant Are Race, Ethnicity, and Gender?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 532-537, May.
    17. Günther G. Schulze & Björn Frank, 2003. "Deterrence versus intrinsic motivation: Experimental evidence on the determinants of corruptibility," Economics of Governance, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 143-160, August.
    18. Muravyev, Alexander & Talavera, Oleksandr & Schäfer, Dorothea, 2009. "Entrepreneurs' gender and financial constraints: Evidence from international data," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 270-286, June.
    19. Nirosha Hewa Wellalage & Stuart Locke & Helen Samujh, 2019. "Corruption, Gender and Credit Constraints: Evidence from South Asian SMEs," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 267-280, September.
    20. M. Fernanda Rivas, 2013. "An Experiment On Corruption And Gender," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 10-42, January.
    21. Fisman, Raymond & Svensson, Jakob, 2007. "Are corruption and taxation really harmful to growth? Firm level evidence," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 63-75, May.
    22. Beck, Thorsten & Demirguc-Kunt, Asli, 2006. "Small and medium-size enterprises: Access to finance as a growth constraint," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2931-2943, November.
    23. Mac an Bhaird, Ciarán & Vidal, Javier Sanchez & Lucey, Brian, 2016. "Discouraged borrowers: Evidence for Eurozone SMEs," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 46-55.
    24. Cole, Rebel & Sokolyk, Tatyana, 2016. "Who needs credit and who gets credit? Evidence from the surveys of small business finances," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 24(C), pages 40-60.
    25. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
    26. Catherine C. Eckel & Philip J. Grossman, 2002. "Sex Differences and Statistical Stereotyping in Attitudes Toward Financial Risk," Monash Economics Working Papers archive-03, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    27. Benno Torgler & Neven T. Valev, 2010. "Gender And Public Attitudes Toward Corruption And Tax Evasion," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 554-568, October.
    28. repec:cup:judgdm:v:13:y:2018:i:4:p:345-355 is not listed on IDEAS
    29. Kon, Y & Storey, D J, 2003. "A Theory of Discouraged Borrowers," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 37-49, August.
    30. Theodora Bermpei & Antonios Nikolaos Kalyvas & Leone Leonida, 2021. "Local Public Corruption and Bank Lending Activity in the United States," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 171(1), pages 73-98, June.
    31. Emma Galli & Danilo Valerio Mascia & Stefania Patrizia Sonia Rossi, 2018. "Does Corruption Influence the Self-Restraint Attitude of Women-led SMEs towards Bank Lending?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo Group, vol. 64(3), pages 426-455.
    32. 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.
    33. Shang-Jin Wei, 2000. "Local Corruption and Global Capital Flows," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 31(2), pages 303-354.
    34. Aristei, David & Gallo, Manuela, 2016. "Does gender matter for firms' access to credit? Evidence from international data," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(C), pages 67-75.
    35. Ajay Palvia & Emilia Vähämaa & Sami Vähämaa, 2015. "Are Female CEOs and Chairwomen More Conservative and Risk Averse? Evidence from the Banking Industry During the Financial Crisis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 131(3), pages 577-594, October.
    36. Dollar, David & Fisman, Raymond & Gatti, Roberta, 2001. "Are women really the "fairer" sex? Corruption and women in government," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 46(4), pages 423-429, December.
    37. Rachel Croson & Uri Gneezy, 2009. "Gender Differences in Preferences," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 448-474, June.
    38. Maria Lucia Stefani & Valerio Vacca, 2013. "Credit access for female firms: evidence from a survey on European SMEs," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 176, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    39. Ken S. Cavalluzzo, 2002. "Competition, Small Business Financing, and Discrimination: Evidence from a New Survey," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75(4), pages 641-680, October.
    40. Shusen Qi & Steven Ongena, 2019. "Will Money Talk? Firm Bribery and Credit Access," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 48(1), pages 117-157, March.
    41. Bellucci, Andrea & Borisov, Alexander & Zazzaro, Alberto, 2010. "Does gender matter in bank-firm relationships? Evidence from small business lending," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2968-2984, December.
    42. Jean-Christophe Statnik & Thi-Le-Giang Vu, 2020. "Does corruption impact the demand for bank credit? A study of discouraged borrowers in Asian developing countries," Finance, Presses universitaires de Grenoble, vol. 41(3), pages 7-50.
    43. Lola Fabowale & Barbara Orser & Allan Riding, 1995. "Gender, Structural Factors, and Credit Terms between Canadian Small Businesses and Financial Institutions," Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, , vol. 19(4), pages 41-65, July.
    44. Mark Freel & Sara Carter & Stephen Tagg & Colin Mason, 2012. "The latent demand for bank debt: characterizing “discouraged borrowers”," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 399-418, May.
    45. Ferrando, Annalisa & Mulier, Klaas, 2015. "The real effects of credit constraints: evidence from discouraged borrowers in the euro area," Working Paper Series 1842, European Central Bank.
    46. repec:oup:ecpoli:v:26:y:2011:i:01:p:93-130 is not listed on IDEAS
    47. Sugato Chakravarty & Tansel Yilmazer, 2009. "A Multistage Model of Loans and the Role of Relationships," Financial Management, Financial Management Association International, vol. 38(4), pages 781-816, December.
    48. Grosch, Kerstin & Rau, Holger A., 2017. "Gender differences in honesty: The role of social value orientation," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 62(C), pages 258-267.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Naegels, Vanessa & Mori, Neema & D'Espallier, Bert, 2022. "The process of female borrower discouragement," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(C).
    2. Emma Galli & Danilo V. Mascia & Stefania P. S. Rossi, 2020. "Bank credit constraints for women‐led SMEs: Self‐restraint or lender bias?," European Financial Management, European Financial Management Association, vol. 26(4), pages 1147-1188, September.
    3. Nirosha Hewa Wellalage & Stuart Locke & Helen Samujh, 2019. "Corruption, Gender and Credit Constraints: Evidence from South Asian SMEs," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 159(1), pages 267-280, September.
    4. Hang Thu Nguyen & Hiep Manh Nguyen & Michael Troege & Anh T. H. Nguyen, 2021. "Debt aversion, education, and credit self-rationing in SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 57(3), pages 1125-1143, October.
    5. Kallandranis, Christos & Anastasiou, Dimitrios & Drakos, Konstantinos, 2023. "Credit rationing prevalence for Eurozone firms," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    6. Mallik, Girijasankar & Nguyen, Duc Nguyen & Chowdhury, Anis, 2022. "Does firm size really affect the outcome of loan applications?," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 806-820.
    7. Saibal Ghosh, 2023. "Gender and discouraged borrowers: Evidence from India," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 35(7), pages 1731-1752, October.
    8. Caglayan, Mustafa & Talavera, Oleksandr & Xiong, Lin, 2022. "Female small business owners in China: Discouraged, not discriminated," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 80(C).
    9. Anoosheh Rostamkalaei & Miwako Nitani & Allan Riding, 2020. "Borrower discouragement: the role of informal turndowns," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 54(1), pages 173-188, January.
    10. Ross Brown & José M. Liñares-Zegarra & John O.S. Wilson, 2022. "Innovation and borrower discouragement in SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 59(4), pages 1489-1517, December.
    11. Francesco Campanella & Luana Serino, 2019. "Gender and Financial Constraints: An Empirical Investigation in Italy," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 10(2), pages 109-120, April.
    12. Szabó, Zsolt, 2019. "Elbátortalanodott hiteligénylők a vállalati szektorban [Discouraged borrowers in the corporate sector]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(11), pages 1145-1186.
    13. Nirosha Hewa Wellalage & Stuart Locke & Helen Samujh, 2020. "Firm bribery and credit access: evidence from Indian SMEs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 55(1), pages 283-304, June.
    14. Bertrand, Jérémie & Mazza, Paolo, 2022. "Borrowers’ discouragement and creditor information," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    15. Osei-Tutu, Francis & Weill, Laurent, 2023. "Individualism reduces borrower discouragement," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 211(C), pages 370-385.
    16. Mascia, Danilo V. & Rossi, Stefania P.S., 2017. "Is there a gender effect on the cost of bank financing?," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 136-153.
    17. Ferrando, Annalisa & Mulier, Klaas, 2022. "The real effects of credit constraints: Evidence from discouraged borrowers," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    18. Hanousek, Jan & Shamshur, Anastasiya & Tresl, Jiri, 2019. "Firm efficiency, foreign ownership and CEO gender in corrupt environments," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 344-360.
    19. Debski, Julia & Jetter, Michael & Mösle, Saskia & Stadelmann, David, 2018. "Gender and corruption: The neglected role of culture," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 526-537.
    20. de Andrés, Pablo & Gimeno, Ricardo & Mateos de Cabo, Ruth, 2021. "The gender gap in bank credit access," Journal of Corporate Finance, Elsevier, vol. 71(C).

    More about this item


    gender; access to credit; borrower discouragement; corruption.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D73 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Bureaucracy; Administrative Processes in Public Organizations; Corruption
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lar:wpaper:2021-05. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Christophe J. Godlewski (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.