Narrowing the gender gap in mobile banking

Jean N. Lee, Jonathan Morduch, Saravana Ravindran, Abu S. Shonchoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mobile banking and related digital financial technologies can make financial services cheaper and more widely accessible in low-income economies, but gender gaps persist. We present evidence from two connected field experiments in Bangladesh designed to encourage the adoption and use of mobile banking by poor, illiterate households. The study focuses on migrants who live in Dhaka and send money back to their extended families. Despite large differences between female and male migrants in income and education, the first experiment shows that a training program led to similarly large, positive impacts on mobile banking use by female migrants (a 51 percentage point increase) and male migrants (46 percentage point increase), substantially narrowing the gender gap. However, the increases in adoption did not lead to similar patterns in usage: men increased digital remittances by 11 times as much as women. A second experiment tests whether introducing the technology in the context of family networks made an additional difference to gender gaps. The evidence suggests an 11 percentage point increase in adoption by women and just a 1 percentage point increase by men, although statistical power is low for this comparison and estimates are imprecise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-293
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Behavior and Organization
StatePublished - Jan 2022


  • Bangladesh
  • Digital money
  • Domestic migration
  • Field experiment
  • Financial inclusion
  • Gender
  • Migration
  • Remittances

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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