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

  • 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)

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.

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Paper provided by Center for Economic and Financial Research (CEFIR) in its series Working Papers with number w0191.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfr:cefirw:w0191
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  1. Esther Duflo & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, 2004. "Women as policy makers: Evidence from a randomized policy experiment in india," Framed Field Experiments 00224, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Erica Field & Seema Jayachandran & Rohini Pande, 2010. "Do Traditional Institutions Constrain Female Entrepreneurship? A Field Experiment on Business Training in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 125-29, May.
  3. Udry, Christopher, 1996. "Gender, Agricultural Production, and the Theory of the Household," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(5), pages 1010-46, October.
  4. Christopher R. Udry & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Intrahousehold Resource Allocation in Cote D'Ivoire: Social Norms, Separate Accounts and Consumption Choices," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm407, Yale School of Management.
  5. Timur Kuran, 2004. "Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(3), pages 71-90, Summer.
  6. Clots-Figueras, Irma, 2011. "Women in politics: Evidence from the Indian States," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(7-8), pages 664-690, August.
  7. Irma Clots-Figueras, 2012. "Are Female Leaders Good for Education? Evidence from India," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 212-44, January.
  8. Fernando Ferreira & Joseph Gyourko, 2011. "Does Gender Matter for Political Leadership? The Case of U.S. Mayors," NBER Working Papers 17671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Markus Goldstein & Christopher Udry, 2005. "The Profits of Power: Land Rights and Agricultural Investment in Ghana," Working Papers 929, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
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