Are Women Better Bankers to the Poor? Evidence from Rural Microfinance Institutions

This article asks if women are better bankers to the poor, motivated by recent work showing differences in performance between male and female CEOs in financial firms and in NGOs. We adapt the banking approach to managerial efficiency to account for the outreach and sustainability goals of Microfinance Institutions. We then evaluate whether outreach efficiency differs by the CEO's gender using panel data from 250 MFIs worldwide. We find that in rural markets, MFIs with female CEOs have 12-14 point higher outreach efficiency suggesting that promoting gender diversity at the top is likely to have social and financial benefits.

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G21; G30; O16

 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2020-10-28

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