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Credit to Women Entrepreneurs: The Curse of the Trustworthier Sex

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  • Isabelle Agier
  • Ariane Szafarz

Abstract

Women entrepreneurs are known not only to reimburse loans swifter than men, but also to receive smaller loans. However, on average women have smaller-scope business projects and are poorer than men. A deeper investigation is thus required in order to assess the existence of gender discrimination in small-business lending. This is precisely the aim of this paper. Its contribution is twofold. Firstly, it proposes a new estimation method for assessing discrimination in loan allocation. This method operationalizes the theoretical “double standard” approach developed by Ferguson and Peters (1995, Journal of Finance). Secondly, this paper applies the new methodology to an exceptionally rich database from a Brazilian microfinance institution. The empirical results point to gender discrimination. Additionally, it is shown that reducing the information asymmetry through relationship brings no remedy to the curse of the trustworthier sex.

Suggested Citation

  • Isabelle Agier & Ariane Szafarz, 2011. "Credit to Women Entrepreneurs: The Curse of the Trustworthier Sex," Working Papers CEB 11-005, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/76871
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Diagne, Aliou & Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar, 2000. "Empirical measurements of households' access to credit and credit constraints in developing countries," FCND briefs 90, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540.
    3. Lex Borghans & Bart H. H. Golsteyn & James J. Heckman & Huub Meijers, 2009. "Gender Differences in Risk Aversion and Ambiguity Aversion," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(2-3), pages 649-658, 04-05.
    4. Marek Hudon, 2009. "Should Access to Credit be a Right?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 84(1), pages 17-28, January.
    5. Christian Weller, 2009. "Credit Access, the Costs of Credit and Credit Market Discrimination," The Review of Black Political Economy, Springer;National Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 7-28, March.
    6. Labie, Marc & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Mersland, Roy & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Discrimination by microcredit officers: Theory and evidence on disability in Uganda," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 44-55.
    7. Song Han, 2004. "Discrimination in Lending: Theory and Evidence," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(1), pages 5-46, July.
    8. James Copestake, 2002. "Inequality and the polarizing impact of microcredit: evidence from Zambia's copperbelt," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(6), pages 743-755.
    9. 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.
    10. de Janvry, Alain & McIntosh, Craig & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 2010. "The supply- and demand-side impacts of credit market information," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 173-188, November.
    11. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
    12. Boris F. Blumberg & Wilko A. Letterie, 2008. "Business Starters and Credit Rationing," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 187-200, February.
    13. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2008. "Combined Micro-Finance: Selected Research Questions from a Stakeholder Point of View," Working Papers CEB 08-004.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    14. Blanchard, Lloyd & Zhao, Bo & Yinger, John, 2008. "Do lenders discriminate against minority and woman entrepreneurs?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 467-497, March.
    15. Helena Marrez & Mathias Schmit, 2009. "Credit risk analysis in microcredit: How does gender matter?," Working Papers CEB 09-053.RS, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    16. Kevane, Michael & Wydick, Bruce, 2001. "Microenterprise Lending to Female Entrepreneurs: Sacrificing Economic Growth for Poverty Alleviation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 29(7), pages 1225-1236, July.
    17. Marcella Corsi & Fabrizio Botti & Tommaso Rondinella & Giulia Zacchia, 2006. "Women and Microfinance in Mediterranean Countries," Development, Palgrave Macmillan;Society for International Deveopment, vol. 49(2), pages 67-74, June.
    18. Thi Thu Tra Pham & Robert Lensink, 2007. "Lending policies of informal, formal and semiformal lenders," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 15(2), pages 181-209, April.
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The curse of the more trustworthy gender
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2011-04-06 18:42:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Agier, Isabelle & Szafarz, Ariane, 2013. "Microfinance and Gender: Is There a Glass Ceiling on Loan Size?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 165-181.
    2. Labie, Marc & Méon, Pierre-Guillaume & Mersland, Roy & Szafarz, Ariane, 2015. "Discrimination by microcredit officers: Theory and evidence on disability in Uganda," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 44-55.
    3. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Female Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," Working Papers halshs-00874448, HAL.
    4. Aggarwal, Raj & Goodell, John W. & Selleck, Lauren J., 2015. "Lending to women in microfinance: Role of social trust," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-65.
    5. 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.
    6. Anastasia Cozarenco & Ariane Szafarz, 2013. "Women’s Access to Credit in France: How Microfinance Institutions Import Disparate Treatment from Banks," Working Papers CEB 13-037, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    7. Angela Hung & Joanne Yoong & Elizabeth Brown, 2012. "Empowering Women Through Financial Awareness and Education," OECD Working Papers on Finance, Insurance and Private Pensions 14, OECD Publishing.
    8. Weber, Ron & Musshoff, Oliver, 2012. "Microfinance for agricultural firms - What can we learn from bank data?," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126708, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    9. Koen Rossel-Cambier, 2011. "Is Combined Microfinance an Instrument to enhance Sustainable Pro-Poor Public Policy Outcomes?," Working Papers CEB 11-013, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Small Business; Microcredit; Gender; Loan Size; Denial Rate; Default;

    JEL classification:

    • G24 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Investment Banking; Venture Capital; Brokerage
    • L26 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Entrepreneurship
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • M13 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - New Firms; Startups

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