Do Women Pay More for Credit? Evidence from Italy
Alberto F. Alesina
Harvard University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Bank of Italy
Paolo Emilio Mistrulli
Bank of Italy
July 17, 2008
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Discussion Paper No. 2159
The answer is yes. By using a unique and large data set on overdraft contracts between banks and microfirms and self-employed individuals, we find robust evidence that women in Italy pay more for overdraft facilities than men. We could not find any evidence that women are riskier then men. The male/female differential remains even after controlling for a large number of characteristics of the type of business, the borrower and the market structure of the credit market. The result is not driven by women using a different type of bank than men, since the same bank charges different rates to male and female borrowers. Social capital does play a role: high levels of trust loosen credit conditions by lowering interest rates, but this benefit is not evenly distributed, as women benefit from increased social capital less than men.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30working papers series
Date posted: July 30, 2008
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