Gender Disparity in Credit Access: A Case Study of Entrepreneurs in China

H. Xu , University of Maryland
Shengwei Sun, Washington University in St. Louis
Feinian Chen, University of Maryland

While gender inequalities have been observed extensively in the workplace, nevertheless in credit market women’s relative deprivation is much less understood. We know little about whether women entrepreneurs are disadvantaged compared to their male counterparts in seeking funding in the credit market, whether the gender disparity exists in both formal and informal credit markets, and what the mechanisms behind the gender disparity are. This paper addresses these questions by using a nationally representative panel data set from the China Household Finance Survey (N=9,784). Results reveal that women are disadvantaged in the formal credit market but not in the informal credit market. Much of such gender disparity can be attributed to differences in resources and risk attitude between men and women entrepreneurs. Moreover, the negative association between women and accessing formal credit cannot be completely explained away by individual-level factors, suggesting the existence of additional structural barriers against women in the formal credits market.

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 Presented in Session 169. Flash Session: New Directions in Economy, Labor Force, Education, and Inequality