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Empowering Women through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan

Author

Listed:
  • Andrew Beath

    () (Office of the Chief Economist for East Asia and the Pacific, World Bank)

  • Fotini Christia

    () (Department of Political Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

  • Ruben Enikolopov

    () (Institute for Advanced Study and New Economic School)

Abstract

In societies with widespread gender discrimination, development programs with gender quotas are considered a way to improve women’s economic, political, and social status. Using a randomized field experiment across 500 Afghan villages, we examine the effects of a development program that mandates women’s community participation. We find that even in a highly conservative context like Afghanistan, such initiatives improve female participation in some economic, social, and political activities, including increased mobility and income generation. They, however, produce no change in more entrenched female roles linked to family decision-making or in attitudes towards the general role of women in society.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Beath & Fotini Christia & Ruben Enikolopov, 2013. "Empowering Women through Development Aid: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Afghanistan," Working Papers w0191, Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR).
  • Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0191
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nelly EL MALLAKH & Mathilde MAUREL & Biagio SPECIALE, 2014. "Women and political change: Evidence from the Egyptian revolution," Working Papers P116, FERDI.
    2. Elsayed, Ahmed & Roushdy, Rania, 2017. "Empowering Women under Social Constraints: Evidence from a Field Intervention in Rural Egypt," IZA Discussion Papers 11240, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2013. "The National Solidarity Programme: Assessing the Effects of Community-Driven Development in Afghanistan," WIDER Working Paper Series 112, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Daniel Karell, 2015. "Aid, Power, and Grievances: Lessons for War and Peace from Rural Afghanistan," Economics of Peace and Security Journal, EPS Publishing, vol. 10(2), pages 43-52, October.
    5. Avdeenko, Alexandra & Gilligan, Michael J., 2014. "International interventions to build social capital : evidence from a field experiment in Sudan," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6772, The World Bank.
    6. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2015. "Arab Spring Protests and Women’s Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers 957, Economic Research Forum, revised Oct 2015.
    7. Nelly El-Mallakh & Mathilde Maurel & Biagio Speciale, 2016. "Arab Spring Protests and Women's Labor Market Outcomes: Evidence from the Egyptian Revolution," Working Papers hal-01309651, HAL.
    8. Noury, Abdul G. & Speciale, Biagio, 2016. "Social constraints and women's education: Evidence from Afghanistan under radical religious rule," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(4), pages 821-841.
    9. Beath, Andrew & Christia, Fotini & Enikolopov, Ruben, 2017. "Direct democracy and resource allocation: Experimental evidence from Afghanistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 199-213.
    10. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2014. "Under the Thumb of History? Political Institutions and the Scope for Action," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 6(1), pages 951-971, August.
    11. Justino, Patricia, 2016. "Supply and demand restrictions to education in conflict-affected countries: New research and future agendas," International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 76-85.
    12. Ryan Sheely, 2013. "Maintaining Local Public Goods: Evidence from Rural Kenya," CID Working Papers 273, Center for International Development at Harvard University.
    13. Muhammad Haseeb & Kate Vyborny, 2016. "Imposing institutions: Evidence from cash transfer reform in Pakistan," CSAE Working Paper Series 2016-36, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    14. Luke Condra & Mohammad Isaqzadeh & Sera Linardi, 2015. "Selecting (In) and Crowding Out: Experimental Evidence of the Power of Religious Authority in Afghanistan," Framed Field Experiments 00398, The Field Experiments Website.
    15. Gottlieb, Jessica, 2016. "Why Might Information Exacerbate the Gender Gap in Civic Participation? Evidence from Mali," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 95-110.
    16. Ilia Murtazashvili & Jennifer Murtazashvili, 2015. "Anarchy, self-governance, and legal titling," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 162(3), pages 287-305, March.
    17. Caren Grown & Tony Addison & Finn Tarp, 2016. "Aid for Gender Equality and Development: Lessons and Challenges," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(3), pages 311-319, April.
    18. Sheely, Ryan, 2015. "Mobilization, Participatory Planning Institutions, and Elite Capture: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 251-266.
    19. Catalina Tejada & Eliana Ferrara & Henrik Kleven & Florian Blum & Oriana Bandiera & Michel Azulai, 2015. "State Effectiveness, Growth, and Development," Working Papers id:6668, eSocialSciences.

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