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Microfinance for women: Are there economic reasons? Evidence from Latin America

Rodrigo Leite () and Jamil Civitarese ()
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Rodrigo Leite: Rio de Janeiro State University
Jamil Civitarese: Brazilian School of Public and Business Administration

Economics Bulletin, 2019, vol. 39, issue 1, 571-580

Abstract: Our main research question is whether, using more robust statistical methods, the effect of the percentage of female borrowers of a Microfinance Institution (MFI) on the delinquency of the portfolio still holds. By using two samples of Latin American MFIs, we show that there is no relation between the percentage of female borrowers in an MFI portfolio and MFI economic outcomes. The relation between portfolio-at-risk and gender is not found when using a dynamic panel to account for serial autocorrelation, thus not accepting the hypothesis that women repay better than men. Hence, this paper suggests that MFIs lend more to women for reasons beyond just "economic" ones, such as empowering women and helping poor people, otherwise unable to access credit lines, get loans in Latin America.

Keywords: microfinance; portfolio selection; dynamic panel (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: G2 O1 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-03-16
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