Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is There a Gender Gap?

Aterido, R., Beck, T. & Iacovone, L. (2013). Access to Finance in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is There a Gender Gap?. World Development, 47, pp. 102-120. doi: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2013.02.013

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This paper assesses whether there is a gender gap in the use of financial services by businesses and individuals in Sub - Saharan Africa. W e show the existence of an unconditional gender gap , as the absolute use of financial services is higher for males than fem ales . However, when key observable characteristics of the enterprises or individuals are taken into account the gender gap disappear s . In the case of enterprises, we explain our finding with differences in key characteristics and a poenti a l selection bias – females owned ones are smaller, younger and less likely to run sole proprietorships than men, furthermore these are more likely to innovate and more prevalent in sectors that tend to rely less on access to external finance . In the case of individuals, the lower use of formal financial services by women can be explained by gender gaps in other dimensions related to the use of financial services, such as their lower level of income and educ ation, and by their household and employment status. E xploring the reasons for not applying or being unba n ked shows that traditional bank barrier s such as higher interest rates, lack of formal income or job are more binding for females than for males . This suggests that , conditional o n their observable characteristics, females do not have inherently lower demand nor that there is taste - based discrimination.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Uncontrolled Keywords: access to financial services, gender, entrepreneurship
Divisions: Cass Business School > Faculty of Finance

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