Social Science > Gender Studies

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Purva Khera, Ms. Sumiko Ogawa, Ms. Ratna Sahay, and Mahima Vasishth
While digital financial services have made access to finance easier, faster, and less costly, helping to broaden digital financial inclusion, its impact on gender gaps varies across countries. Moreover, women leaders in the fintech industry, although growing, remain scarce. This paper explores the interaction between ‘women’ and ‘fintech’ by examining: (i) the role of women leaders on firm-level performance in the fintech industry; and (ii) the determinants of gender gaps in the usage of digital services to better understand the cross-country differences. Results indicate that greater gender diversity in the executive board is associated with better performance of fintech firms.With regard to determinants of the gender gaps in the usage of digital financial services, we find that higher financial and digital literacy of women is associated with lower gender gaps in digital financial inclusion, and that socio-cultural factors also play a key role.
Yoke Wang Tok and Dyna Heng
This paper examines the role of Fintech in financial inclusion. Using Global Findex data and emerging fintech indicators, we find that Fintech has a higher positive correlation with digital financial inclusion than traditional measures of financial inclusion. In the second stage of our empirical investigation, we examine the key factors that are correlated with the Fletcher School’s three digital divide – gender divide, class (rich-poor) divide and rural divide. The results indicate that greater use of fintech is significantly associated with a narrowing of the class divide and rural divide but there was no impact on the gender divide. These findings imply that Fintech alone may not be sufficient to close the gender gap in access to financial services. Fintech development may need to be complemented with targeted policy initiatives aimed at addressing the gender gap directly, and at changing attitudes and social norms across demographics.
Mariya Brussevich and Ms. Era Dabla-Norris
This paper examines gender inequality in the context of structural transformation and rebalancing in China. We document declining women's relative wages and labor force participation in China during the last two decades, despite rapid growth and expansion of the service sector. Using household data, we provide evidence consistent with a U-shaped relationship between economic development and women's labor market outcomes. Using a model of structural transformation, we show that labor market barriers for women have increased over time. Model counterfactuals suggest that removing these barriers and increasing service sector productivity can boost both gender equality and economic growth in China.
Hites Ahir, Hendre Garbers, Mattia Coppo, Mr. Giovanni Melina, Mr. Futoshi Narita, Ms. Filiz D Unsal, Vivian Malta, Xin Tang, Daniel Gurara, Luis-Felipe Zanna, Linda G. Venable, Mr. Kangni R Kpodar, and Mr. Chris Papageorgiou
Despite strong economic growth since 2000, many low-income countries (LICs) still face numerous macroeconomic challenges, even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the deceleration in real GDP growth during the 2008 global financial crisis, LICs on average saw 4.5 percent of real GDP growth during 2000 to 2014, making progress in economic convergence toward higher-income countries. However, the commodity price collapse in 2014–15 hit many commodity-exporting LICs and highlighted their vulnerabilities due to the limited extent of economic diversification. Furthermore, LICs are currently facing a crisis like no other—COVID-19, which requires careful policymaking to save lives and livelihoods in LICs, informed by policy debate and thoughtful research tailored to the COVID-19 situation. There are also other challenges beyond COVID-19, such as climate change, high levels of public debt burdens, and persistent structural issues.
International Monetary Fund. Secretary's Department
Executive Directors underscore the importance of promoting gender diversity at the IMF’s Executive Board and the Offices of Executive Directors (OEDs). The Executive Board recognizes that a diversity of views contributes to stronger decision making and is committed to ongoing efforts to improve the gender profile of the Board and Offices of the Executive Directors. The Fund’s membership has also indicated that it places importance on this issue; the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) has consistently drawn attention in its communiqués to the importance of enhancing the gender diversity of the Executive Board.