Female leadership and borrowing constraints: Evidence from an emerging economy

Anh Tuan Bui, Cuong Viet Nguyen , Thu Phuong Pham and Duc Tung Phung

JEL classification: J16 J54 L25
Keywords: CEO gender, Credit access, Vietnam


This study investigates the differences in credit access between male-managed and female-managed firms using
two Enterprise Censuses in Vietnam. Our findings reveal that women-managed firms are less likely to borrow
from commercial banks than their male counterparts, even when controlling for other determinants such as CEO
education and experience, firm size, and ownership. No difference in credit access is documented for firms
borrowing from non-commercial banks. Once we control for firm characteristics and CEO demographic factors,
approved loan size is higher for firms managed by female CEOs regardless of the borrowing source. Using
decomposition analysis, we find firm size contributes most in explaining the difference in credit access between
female and male-managed companies.

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