Microenterprise Lending to Female Entrepreneurs: Sacrificing Economic Growth for Poverty Alleviation?

29 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2008

See all articles by Michael Kevane

Michael Kevane

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 2001

Abstract

This research compares the performance of female and male entrepreneurs in a microenterprise credit program in Guatemala. Previous research and field practice has suggested that targeting credit at female borrowers allows for more substantial increases in household welfare, but that male entrepreneurs may more aggressively expand enterprises when given access to credit. In this paper, we develop a model that seeks to clarify why we might expect gender differences in economic responses to credit access. In general, our empirical results reveal that gender differences in economic responses to credit access are surprisingly small. However, we find that female entrepreneurs in childbearing years exhibit significantly lower rates of employment generation than male entrepreneurs, a fact consistent with our model.

Keywords: Central America, Guatemala, Microenterprise Finance, Gender Issues

JEL Classification: O12, O16

Suggested Citation

Kevane, Michael and Wydick, Bruce, Microenterprise Lending to Female Entrepreneurs: Sacrificing Economic Growth for Poverty Alleviation? (January 2001). World Development, Vol. 29, No. 7, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1115436

Michael Kevane (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University - Leavey School of Business - Economics Department ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA California 95053
United States

Bruce Wydick

University of San Francisco - Department of Economics ( email )

2130 Fulton Street
San Francisco, CA 94117-1080
United States

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