New Economics Papers
on Microfinance
Issue of 2014‒08‒02
one paper chosen by
Aastha Pudasainee and Olivier Dagnelie

  1. Women Leaders and Social Performance: Evidence from Financial Cooperatives in Senegal By Anaïs Périlleux; Ariane Szafarz

  1. By: Anaïs Périlleux; Ariane Szafarz
    Abstract: How do women leaders such as board members and top managers influence the social performance of organizations? This paper addresses the issue by exploiting a unique database released by a Senegalese network of 36 financial cooperatives sharing identical governance characteristics and placed under the authority of a central union. We scrutinize the loan-granting decisions, made jointly by the locally elected board and the delegated top manager, whose career is supervised by the central union. Our findings are threefold. First, female-dominated boards favor social orientation in loan-granting. Second, female top managers are not necessarily more socially oriented than their male colleagues. Instead, they tend to align their loan-granting strategy with the preferences of the democratically elected board members. Third, the central union tends to assign male managers to cooperatives with female-dominated boards, probably to curb the social orientation of these boards. Overall, gender is a key factor in considering social performance, but gender interactions appear far more complex than previously thought.
    Keywords: Gender; Leadership; Board; Microfinance; Financial Cooperative; Senegal
    JEL: G20 J54 O16 G34 O55 L31
    Date: 2014–07–08

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