Lending to female-owned small enterprises in Sri Lanka and Ghana


Published 18.12.17
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Investment in small firms led to monthly returns of 6% in Sri Lanka. However, the returns are negligible for female-owned enterprises.

Chris Woodruff (Oxford University) finds that investments in small enterprises yield high returns at 6% per month. Interestingly, these returns are heterogeneous across genders; the male-owned enterprises see returns higher than 6% per month, while female-owned enterprises see average monthly returns of 0%. A similar study in Ghana finds comparable heterogeneous gender effects across firms. Chris argues that an explanation for this, supported by a growing body of research, could be that money loaned to females is often re-allocated within the household to the males.