Gender bias in microfinance
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionD'Espallier, B., Guerin, I., & Mersland, R. (2013). Focus on women in microfinance institutions. Journal of Development Studies, 49(5), 589-608. 10.1080/00220388.2012.720364
We provide empirical evidence on focusing on women in microﬁnance and its consequences for microﬁnance institutions (MFIs). Based on a global dataset, the results indicate that a focus on women is associated with group-lending methods, international orientation, smaller loans, and non-commercial legal status. We ﬁnd that a focus on women signiﬁcantly improves repayment but does not enhance overall ﬁnancial performance because of higher relative costs. Moreover, the higher relative costs do not stem from servicing women per se but from the smaller loans oﬀered to women and the group-lending methodology practised by MFIs focusing on women
Preprint of an article published by the Journal of Development Studies with the title "Focus on women in microfinance institutions"