Gender Bias Claims in Farm Service Agency’s Lending Decisions
By: Escalante, Cesar L.; Epperson, James E.; Raghunathan, Uthra
Escalante, Cesar L.; Epperson, James E.; Raghunathan, Uthra, Gender Bias Claims in Farm Service Agency’s Lending Decisions, Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Volume 34, Issue 2, August 2009, Pages 332-349
This study analyzes the courts’ denial of women farmers’ motion for class-action certification of their lawsuits alleging gender discrimination in Farm Service Agency (FSA) lending decisions. The plaintiffs’ claim of “commonality” of circumstances in women farmers’ dealings with FSA is tested using a four-year sampling of Georgia FSA loan applications. The econometric framework has been developed after accounting for the separability of loan approval and amount decisions, as well as endogeneity issues through instrumental variable estimation. This study’s results do not produce overwhelming evidence of gender bias in FSA loan approval decisions and in favor of the “commonality” argument among Georgia FSA farm loan applicants.