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Do Women Pay More for Credit? Evidence from Italy

Author

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  • Alberto F. Alesina
  • Francesca Lotti
  • Paolo Emilio Mistrulli

Abstract

The answer is yes. By using a unique and large data set on overdraft contracts between banks and microfirms and self-employed individuals, we find robust evidence that women in Italy pay more for overdraft facilities than men. We could not find any evidence that women are riskier then men. The male/female differential remains even after controlling for a large number of characteristics of the type of business, the borrower and the market structure of the credit market. The result is not driven by women using a different type of bank than men, since the same bank charges different rates to male and female borrowers. Social capital does play a role: high levels of trust loosen credit conditions by lowering interest rates, but this benefit is not evenly distributed, as women benefit from increased social capital less than men.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto F. Alesina & Francesca Lotti & Paolo Emilio Mistrulli, 2008. "Do Women Pay More for Credit? Evidence from Italy," NBER Working Papers 14202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14202 Note: CF LS POL
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alberto Alesina & Paola Giuliano, 2010. "The power of the family," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 93-125, June.
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    12. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213-213.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J71 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Discrimination - - - Hiring and Firing

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