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Gender and bank lending after the global financial crisis: are women entrepreneurs safer bets?

Cowling, Marc; Marlow, Susan; Liu, Weixi


Marc Cowling

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Weixi Liu


Using gender as a theoretical framework, we analyse the dynamics of bank lending to small and medium sized enterprises (SME) in the aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Using six waves of the SME Finance Monitor survey, we apply a formal Oaxaca-Blinder decomposition to test whether gender impacts upon the supply and demand for debt finance by women. Reflecting established evidence, we found women had a lower demand for bank loans; contradicting accepted wisdom however, we found that women who did apply were more likely to be successful. We argue that feminised risk aversion might inform more conservative applications during a period of financial uncertainty which may be beneficial for women in terms of gaining loans. However, we also uncover more subtle evidence suggesting that bank decisions may differ for women who may be unfairly treated in terms of collateral but regarded more positively when holding large cash balances.


Cowling, M., Marlow, S., & Liu, W. (2019). Gender and bank lending after the global financial crisis: are women entrepreneurs safer bets?. Small Business Economics,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 18, 2019
Online Publication Date Apr 13, 2019
Publication Date Apr 13, 2019
Deposit Date Apr 29, 2019
Publicly Available Date Apr 14, 2020
Journal Small Business Economics
Print ISSN 0921-898X
Electronic ISSN 1573-0913
Publisher Springer Verlag
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Gender; Finance; Bank lending; Risk; Discrimination
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Small Business Economics. The final authenticated version is available online at:


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