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Gender Biases in Bank Lending: Lessons from Microcredit in France

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  • Anastasia Cozarenco
  • Ariane Szafarz

Abstract

The evidence on gender discrimination in lending remains controversial. To capture gender biases in banks’ loan allocations, we observe the impact on the applicants of a microfinance institution (MFI) and exploit the natural experiment of a regulatory change imposing a strict EUR 10,000 loan ceiling on microcredit. Descriptive statistics indicate that the presence of the ceiling is associated both with bank-MFI co-financing and with harsher treatment of female borrowers. To investigate causal links, we develop an econometric approach that addresses the concerns of selection biases, multicollinearity, and endogeneity. Our empirical findings suggest that the change in the MFI’s gender-related attitude was triggered by banks through co-financing. Hence, we speculate that co-financing pushes ceiling-constrained MFIs to import whatever biases in loan granting that the banks are prone to. Overall, this paper stresses that apparently benign regulations such as loan ceilings can significantly harm the women’s empowerment efforts made by MFIs.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2015. "Gender Biases in Bank Lending: Lessons from Microcredit in France," Working Papers CEB 15-006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/194618
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    Cited by:

    1. Johnson, Michael A. & Stevenson, Regan M. & Letwin, Chaim R., 2018. "A woman's place is in the… startup! Crowdfunder judgments, implicit bias, and the stereotype content model," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 813-831.
    2. Xiangbo Cui, 2019. "Occupational Identity Discrimination in Peer-to-Peer Lending," Journal of Applied Finance & Banking, SCIENPRESS Ltd, vol. 9(6), pages 1-13.
    3. Supriya Garikipati & Susan Johnson & Isabelle Guérin & Ariane Szafarz, 2017. "Microfinance and Gender: Issues, Challenges and The Road Ahead," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(5), pages 641-648, May.
    4. Cozarenco, Anastasia & Szafarz, Ariane, 2020. "The regulation of prosocial lending: Are loan ceilings effective?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 121(C).
    5. Anaïs, Périlleux & Ariane Szafarz, 2021. "Women in the Boardroom: A Bottom-up Approach to the Trickle-down Effect," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2021012, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    6. Fall, F.S. & Tchakoute Tchuigoua, H. & Vanhems, A. & Simar, L., 2021. "Gender effect on microfinance social efficiency: A robust nonparametric approach," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 295(2), pages 744-757.
    7. Yang Zhao & Xuemei Xie & Liuyong Yang, 0. "Female entrepreneurs and equity crowdfunding: the consequential roles of lead investors and venture stages," International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-29.
    8. Gregor Dorfleitner & Eva-Maria Oswald & Rongxin Zhang, 2021. "From Credit Risk to Social Impact: On the Funding Determinants in Interest-Free Peer-to-Peer Lending," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 170(2), pages 375-400, May.
    9. Anaïs A Périlleux & Ariane Szafarz, 2021. "Women in the Boardroom: A Bottom-up Approach to the Trickle-down Effect," Working Papers CEB 21-005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    10. Carolina Laureti, 2017. "Why do Poor People Co-hold Debt and Liquid Savings?," Working Papers CEB 17-007, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    11. Marek Hudon & Marc Labie & Patrick Reichert, 2020. "What is a Fair Level of Profit for Social Enterprise? Insights from Microfinance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 627-644, March.
    12. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2020. "Financial Inclusion in High-Income Countries: Gender Gap or Poverty Trap ?," Working Papers CEB WP 20-006, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    13. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2016. "Microcredit in Industrialized Countries: Unexpected Consequences of Regulatory Loan Ceilings," Working Papers CEB 16-021, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Microcredit; bank; loan ceiling; gender; France;
    All these keywords.

    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
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • G28 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Government Policy and Regulation
    • O52 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Europe
    • I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs

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