IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Women's Autonomy and Subjective Well-Being in India: How Village Norms Shape the Impact of Self-Help Groups

  • De Hoop, Thomas
  • Van Kempen, Luuk
  • Linssen, Rik
  • Van Eerdewijk, Anouka

This paper presents quasi-experimental impact estimates of women self-help groups on subjective well-being in Orissa, India. We find that, on average, self-help group membership does not affect subjective well-being. However, our results at the same time reveal that subjective well-being sharply declines for those members whose newly gained autonomy meets with relatively conservative social gender norms among non-members. We interpret this finding as evidence for heterogeneous losses of feelings of identity for self-help group members. Identity losses loom larger when women’s enhanced autonomy implies a stronger violation of social gender norms at the community level. Social sanctioning mechanisms play an important role in the heterogeneous negative impact on subjective well-being, as evidenced by qualitative accounts of women’s empowerment trajectories in the research area.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: original version
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25921.

in new window

Date of creation: 13 Oct 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25921
Contact details of provider: Postal: Schackstr. 4, D-80539 Munich, Germany
Phone: +49-(0)89-2180-2219
Fax: +49-(0)89-2180-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Stutzer, Alois & Lalive, Rafael, 2001. "The Role of Social Work Norms in Job Searching and Subjective Well-Being," IZA Discussion Papers 300, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Deininger, Klaus W. & Liu, Yanyan, 2008. "Economic and Social Impacts of Self-Help Groups in India," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6482, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  3. Deininger, Klaus & Liu, Yanyan, 2009. "Longer-term economic impacts of self-help groups in india," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4886, The World Bank.
  4. Swain, Ranjula Bali & Varghese, Adel, 2009. "Does Self Help Group Participation Lead to Asset Creation?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(10), pages 1674-1682, October.
  5. Caliendo, Marco & Kopeinig, Sabine, 2005. "Some Practical Guidance for the Implementation of Propensity Score Matching," IZA Discussion Papers 1588, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Ernst Fehr & Armin Falk, . "Psychological Foundations of Incentives," IEW - Working Papers 095, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  7. Bruno S. Frey & Alois Stutzer, . "What can Economists Learn from Happiness Research?," IEW - Working Papers 080, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  8. Brandts, Jordi & Fernanda Rivas, María, 2009. "On punishment and well-being," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(3), pages 823-834, December.
  9. Ernst Fehr & Simon G�chter, 2000. "Fairness and Retaliation: The Economics of Reciprocity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 159-181, Summer.
  10. Shahidur R. Khandker, 2005. "Microfinance and Poverty: Evidence Using Panel Data from Bangladesh," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 263-286.
  11. M. Rabin, 2001. "Incorporating Fairness into Game Theory and Economics," Levine's Working Paper Archive 511, David K. Levine.
  12. Verme, Paolo, 2009. "Happiness, freedom and control," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 146-161, August.
  13. E. Fehr & John A. List, . "The Hidden Costs and Returns of Incentives - Trust and Trustworthiness among CEOs," IEW - Working Papers 134, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  14. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:3:p:715-753 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Ernst Fehr & Bettina Rockenbach, 2003. "Detrimental effects of sanctions on human altruism," Microeconomics 0305007, EconWPA.
  16. Wendy Janssens, 2011. "Externalities In Program Evaluation: The Impact Of A Women'S Empowerment Program On Immunization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 9(6), pages 1082-1113, December.
  17. Rachel Connelly & Deborah DeGraff & Deborah Levison & Brian McCall, 2006. "Tackling The Endogeneity Of Fertility In The Study Of Women'S Employment In Developing Countries: Alternative Estimation Strategies Using Data From Urban Brazil," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 12(4), pages 561-597.
  18. Becker, Sascha O. & Caliendo, Marco, 2007. "mhbounds – Sensitivity Analysis for Average Treatment Effects," IZA Discussion Papers 2542, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Garikipati, Supriya, 2008. "The Impact of Lending to Women on Household Vulnerability and Women's Empowerment: Evidence from India," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 36(12), pages 2620-2642, December.
  20. Daniel L. Chen, 2010. "Club Goods and Group Identity: Evidence from Islamic Resurgence during the Indonesian Financial Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(2), pages 300-354, 04.
  21. Munshi, Kaivan & Myaux, Jacques, 2006. "Social norms and the fertility transition," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 1-38, June.
  22. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2006. "Some Uses of Happiness Data in Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 25-46, Winter.
  23. Dugar, Subhasish, 2010. "Nonmonetary sanctions and rewards in an experimental coordination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 73(3), pages 377-386, March.
  24. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
  25. Michael Bamberger & Vijayendra Rao & Michael Woolcock, 2009. "Using Mixed Methods in Monitoring and Evaluation: Experiences from International Development’," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 10709, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  26. Jordi Brandts & María Fernanda Rivas, 2009. "On Punishment and Well-being," Post-Print hal-00723633, HAL.
  27. repec:oup:qjecon:v:124:y:2009:i:3:p:1057-1094 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. George A. Akerlof & Rachel E. Kranton, 2000. "Economics and Identity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 715-753.
  29. Thorp, Rosemary & Stewart, Frances & Heyer, Amrik, 2005. "When and how far is group formation a route out of chronic poverty?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 907-920, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25921. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ekkehart Schlicht)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.