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Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development?

  • Matthias Doepke
  • Michèle Tertilt

Empirical evidence suggests that money in the hands of mothers (as opposed to their husbands) benefits children. Does this observation imply that targeting transfers on women is good development policy? In this paper they develop a series of non-cooperative family bargaining models to understand what kind of frictions can give rise to the observed empirical relationships, and we assess the policy implications of these models. It had been found that targeting transfers to women can have unintended consequences. Moreover, alternative forms of empowering women may lead to opposite results. More empirical research is needed to distinguish between alternative theoretical models. [BREAD Working Paper No. 281]

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