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Gender, Credit, and Firm Outcomes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 December 2020

Manthos D. Delis
Montpellier Business School, Montpellier Research in Management
Iftekhar Hasan*
Fordham University, Bank of Finland, and University of Sydney
Maria Iosifidi
Montpellier Business School, Montpellier Research in Management
Steven Ongena
University of Zurich, Swiss Finance Institute, KU Leuven, and CEPR
* (corresponding author)


Small and micro-enterprises are usually majority-owned by entrepreneurs. Using a unique sample of loan applications from such firms, we study the role of owners’ gender in bank credit decisions and post-credit-decision firm outcomes. We find that, ceteris paribus, female entrepreneurs are more prudent loan applicants than are males because they are less likely to apply for credit or to default after loan origination. The relatively more aggressive behavior of male applicants pays off, however, in terms of higher average firm performance after loan origination.

Research Article
© The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the Michael G. Foster School of Business, University of Washington

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Ongena acknowledges financial support from grant ERC ADG 2016-GA 740272 lending from the European Research Council.


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