Purpose – The aim of the paper is to analyse female and male loan officers' (LOs) risk aversion as they assess different types of small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises' (SMEs) loan applications. Design/methodology/approach – The data were gathered from a sample of 75 Swedish LOs, using the repertory grid technique and related questions. The data were analysed statistically. Findings – The findings demonstrate that female LOs focus more on collateral (used as a proxy for risk aversion) in their evaluations of first‐time loan applications than male LOs. However, the findings also suggest that there are no significant differences between the two groups as far as risk aversion when they evaluate additional loan applications. The other variables controlled for (age, tenure, insight, education, and location) did not significantly affect the LOs' risk aversion. Research limitations/implications – The study might have benefited from the use of complementary data collection approaches. Access to actual assessment and decision‐making procedures could have increased the understanding of female and male LOs' attitudes toward risk. Practical implications – The findings suggest that by the use of female‐male LO teams, banks may achieve more balanced assessments of SMEs' loan applications. Originality/value – To the authors' knowledge, the literature has not explicitly addressed risk aversion among female and male LOs with respect to different types of bank loans. Moreover, the authors investigated risk aversion in the context of standardised assessments procedures used to reduce exposure to credit risk.
International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 3, 2014
Keywords: Risk aversion; Small‐ and medium‐sized enterprises; Assessments procedures; Bank loan; Female loan officers; Male loan officers
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