The Gender Gap in Bank Credit Access

34 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2019

See all articles by Pablo de Andrés

Pablo de Andrés

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid; ECGI

Ricardo Gimeno

Banco de España

Ruth Mateos de Cabo

Universidad San Pablo CEU

Date Written: December 27, 2019


We use a sample of over 80,000 Spanish companies started by a sole entrepreneur between 2004 and 2014, and distinguish between male and female entrepreneurs demand for credit, credit approval ratio, and credit performance. We find that female entrepreneurs who start a business are less likely to ask for a loan. Of the female entrepreneurs requesting a credit, the probability of obtaining one in the founding year is significantly lower than their male peers in the same industry. This lower credit access disappears over the subsequent years, once the company has a track record of profits and losses. We also observe that women-led companies that receive a loan in the founding year are less likely to default as compared to men-led companies. This superior performance disappears for subsequent years, coinciding with the disappearance of the lower credit access. Taking all these results together, we rule out both taste-based discrimination and statistical discrimination in the credit industry, and point to the possible presence of double standards which might be a consequence of implicit (unconscious) discrimination.

Keywords: gender discrimination, credit demand, credit access, credit performance, financing

JEL Classification: G32, J16, L25, M13

Suggested Citation

Andrés, Pablo de and Gimeno, Ricardo and Mateos de Cabo, Ruth, The Gender Gap in Bank Credit Access (December 27, 2019). Banco de Espana Working Paper No. 1945 (2019), Available at SSRN: or

Pablo de Andrés (Contact Author)

Universidad Autonoma de Madrid ( email )

Campus de Cantoblanco
C/ Francisco Tomás y Valiente, 5
Madrid, Madrid 28049
+34 91 497 6527 (Phone)
+34 91 497 3954 (Fax)



c/o the Royal Academies of Belgium
Rue Ducale 1 Hertogsstraat
1000 Brussels

Ricardo Gimeno

Banco de España ( email )

Madrid 28014

Ruth Mateos de Cabo

Universidad San Pablo CEU ( email )

Julián Romea, 23
28003 Madrid, 28003

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