Definitions Matter: Measuring Gender Gaps in Firms’ Access to Credit

Claudia Piras, Andrea F. Presbitero, Roberta Rabellotti,(October 2013) “Definitions Matter: Measuring Gender Gaps in Firms’ Access to Credit.” Money and Finance Research Group, Working Paper number 90.


Standards measures of female ownership and management of firms included in the World Bank Enterprise Survey do not support the existence of a gender gap in access to finance in the Latin American and Caribbean region. Nonetheless, more precise measures show that women-led busi- nesses are more likely to be financially constrained than other comparable firms. The evidence presented herein suggests that this gender gap may be driven by taste-based discrimination. This paper exploits a rich dataset that provides detailed information about female ownership and management in firms, allowing for further understanding of gender gaps in access to finance.