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

Suresh de Mel (), David McKenzie () and Christopher Woodruff ()

American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 2009, vol. 1, issue 3, 1-32

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)

JEL-codes: D13 D14 J16 L25 L26 O12 O16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009
Note: DOI: 10.1257/app.1.3.1
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