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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 1 No. 3 (July 2009)

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Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns

Article Citation

de Mel, Suresh, David McKenzie, and Christopher Woodruff. 2009. "Are Women More Credit Constrained? Experimental Evidence on Gender and Microenterprise Returns." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 1(3): 1-32.

DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.1

Abstract

We report on a field experiment providing random grants to microenterprise owners. The grants generated large profit increases for male owners but not for female owners. We show that the gender gap does not simply mask differences in ability, risk aversion, entrepreneurial attitudes, or differences in reporting behavior, but there is some evidence that the gender gap is larger in female-dominated industries. The data are not consistent with a unitary household model, and imply an inefficiency of resource allocation within households. We show evidence that this inefficiency is reduced in more cooperative households. (JEL D13, D14, J16, L25, L26, O12, O16)

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Authors

de Mel, Suresh (U Peradeniya)
McKenzie, David (World Bank)
Woodruff, Christopher (U CA, San Diego)

JEL Classifications

D13: Household Production and Intrahousehold Allocation
D14: Personal Finance
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
L25: Firm Performance: Size, Diversification, and Scope
L26: Entrepreneurship
O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O16: Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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