Publication: Gender and the Impact of Credit and Transfers

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Rivero-Fuentes, M. Estela
McKernan, Signe-Mary
Ignoring gender in the planning and evaluation of credit and transfer programs can lead to erroneous conclusions about who benefits from them. Access to institutional credit and targeted transfers can be an important mechanism in poverty reduction, social protection, and income redistribution programs. These formal sources of financing, however, may undermine traditional sources of support, such as inter-household transfers and informal credit from neighbors. The likelihood and the consequences of this happening depend in part on whether institutional transfers and credit target men or women, whether men and women have access to the same sources of financial support, and whether using institutional credit or transfers challenges conformance to traditional gender roles. The gender dimensions of public transfers and credit discussed in this note have the following policy implications: 1) Placing resources in the hands of women may benefit households more than targeting men. 2) Institutional credit and public transfers may have to compensate them differently for the potential loss of informal financial support. 3) Evaluation of public transfer and credit programs should assess the differential impact that credit and public transfers have on men and women via any substitution effects on informal sources of financing; the impact on household welfare via changes in the intra-household distribution of resources; and the impact on those who send informal transfers and credit to the household.
Rivero-Fuentes, M. Estela; McKernan, Signe-Mary. 2005. Gender and the Impact of Credit and Transfers. PREM Notes; No. 104. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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