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Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers

Ingvild Almås, Alex Armand, Orazio Attanasio, Pedro Carneiro

NBER Working Paper No. 21717
Issued in November 2015
NBER Program(s):Children, Development Economics, Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Labor Studies

This paper studies how targeted cash transfers to women affect their empowerment. We use a novel identification strategy to measure women's willingness to pay to receive cash transfers instead of their partner receiving it. We apply this among women living in poor households in urban Macedonia. We match experimental data with a unique policy intervention (CCT) in Macedonia offering poor households cash transfers conditional on having their children attending secondary school. The program randomized whether the transfer was offered to household heads or mothers at municipality level, providing us with an exogenous source of variation in (offered) transfers. We show that women who were offered the transfer reveal a lower willingness to pay, and we show that this is in line with theoretical predictions.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21717

Published: Ingvild Almås & Alex Armand & Orazio Attanasio & Pedro Carneiro, 2018. "Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers," The Economic Journal, vol 128(612), pages F609-F639.

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