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ABSTRACT. We examine whether the microfinance institutions’ lending patterns to women are solely a function of institution choice or whether those decisions are influenced by the economic and social environment in which the institution operates. We find that while the institution specific factors are important the social and economic environment influences the lending patterns as well. In particular we find that female education rates, consumer spending and price levels, investment price levels and government imposed market frictions as measured by the Frasier Economic Freedom of the World Index affect microfinance lending patterns to women. pp. 36–50

Tammy Rogers
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University of Central Arkansas
Linda Lawton
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Northern Michigan University

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