Gender and Credit Risk: A View From the Loan Officer’s Desk


We analyze the effect of loan officers' gender on the approval of applications and their subsequent performance. Using detailed bank information on a sample of close to half a million loans, we show that the risk profile of applicants screened by male and female loan officers is very similar. However, female loan officers have around a 15% lower delinquency rate than that of male officers. We find evidence that this effect is due to women's higher compliance with centralized negative recommendations. Gender bias in terms of a mistake-punishment trade-off could explain, at least partly, this level of compliance.