ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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How Important Is Gender?

Furthering the Financial Inclusion Agenda in India

Exploiting household level survey data, this paper analyses the interface between gender and financial inclusion. The multivariate regressions that take on board several household and state-level controls suggest significant disparities in both the access to as well as the use of finance. More specifically, female-headed households are 10% less likely to access formal finance as compared to households that are headed by males. Similar evidence carries over to the use of finance as well. From a policy standpoint, the paper highlights several policy interventions which can serve the cause of greater financial inclusion of women in the country.


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The views expressed and the approach pursued in the paper reflect the personal opinions of the authors. The authors thank S Chandrasekhar of Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research for sharing the relevant data files. Extremely useful and penetrative comments by N R Prabhala and Brinda Vishwanathan on earlier drafts and insightful suggestions of Partha Ray are gratefully acknowledged.


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