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Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Large Randomized Control Trial

Author

Listed:
  • Baranov, Victoria

    () (University of Melbourne)

  • Bhalotra, Sonia R.

    () (University of Essex)

  • Biroli, Pietro

    () (University of Zurich)

  • Maselko, Joanna

    () (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

Abstract

We evaluate the long-term impact of treating maternal depression on women’s financial empowerment and parenting decisions. We leverage experimental variation induced by a cluster-randomized control trial that provided psychotherapy to perinatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan. It was one the largest psychotherapy interventions in the world, and the treatment was highly successful at reducing depression. We locate mothers seven years after the end of the intervention to evaluate its long-run effects. We find that the intervention increased women’s financial empowerment, increasing their control over household spending. Additionally, the intervention increased both time- and monetary-intensive parental investments, with increases in investments tending to favor girls.

Suggested Citation

  • Baranov, Victoria & Bhalotra, Sonia R. & Biroli, Pietro & Maselko, Joanna, 2017. "Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Large Randomized Control Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 11187, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp11187
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    parenting; early life; empowerment; women’s labor supply; maternal depression; mental health; child development; randomized controlled trial; Pakistan;

    JEL classification:

    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I30 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration

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