Front Matter
  • 1 0000000404811396https://isni.org/isni/0000000404811396International Monetary Fund
  • | 2 0000000404811396https://isni.org/isni/0000000404811396International Monetary Fund

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© 2022 International Monetary Fund

WP/22/108

IMF Working Paper

African Department

Fintech, Female Employment, and Gender Inequality

Prepared by Boileau Loko and Yuanchen Yang

Authorized for distribution by Boileau Loko

June 2022

IMF Working Papers describe research in progress by the author(s) and are published to elicit comments and to encourage debate. The views expressed in IMF Working Papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF, its Executive Board, or IMF management.

ABSTRACT: Fintech, which delivers financial services digitally, promises to promote financial inclusion and close the gender gap. Using a novel fintech dataset for 114 economies worldwide, this paper shows that fintech adoption significantly improves female employment and reduces gender inequality, the effect being more pronounced in firms without traditional financial access. Fintech not only increases the number and ratio of female employees in the workforce, but also mitigates financial constraints of female-headed firms. Digital divide and poor institutions weaken such benefits. Endogeneity is accounted for by a fixed effects identification strategy. We conclude by providing policy recommendations and outlining avenues for future research.

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Title Page

WORKING PAPER

Fintech, Female Employment, and Gender Inequality

Prepared by Boileau Loko and Yuanchen Yang1

Contents

  • Introduction

  • Methodology and Data

    • A. Variable Construction

    • B. Empirical Strategy

    • C. Data Sources

  • Empirical Results and Discussion

    • A. Baseline Results

    • B. Economic Mechanisms

    • C. Fintech Interaction with Firm Characteristics

    • D. Weak Institution Reduces Benefits of Fintech

  • Robustness Checks

  • Conclusion

  • Figures

  • 1. Landscape of Fintech Across Countries

  • 2. Employment Rate by Gender

  • 3. Gender Gap in Fintech Adoption

  • Tables

  • 1. Summary Statistics

  • 2. Fintech Development and Female Employment

  • 3. Economic Mechanisms Underlying the Effect of Fintech Development

  • 4. Fintech and Firm Characteristics

  • 5. The Effect of Fintech by Government Effectiveness

  • 6. The Effect of Fintech by Regulatory Quality

  • 7. The Effect of Fintech by Rule of Law

  • 8. The Effect of Fintech by Women Business Law

  • 9. The Effect of Fintech by Country Income Group

  • 10. The Effect of Fintech by Region

  • 11. Alternative Fintech Definitions

  • 12. Additional Control Variables

  • Annexes

  • I. Country Coverage

  • II. Fintech Classification

  • III. Variable Definition and Data Sources

  • IV. Country Classification by Region

  • References

  • References

Fintech, Female Employment, and Gender Inequality
Author: Mr. Boileau Loko and Yuanchen Yang