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Do mobile phones empower women? A perspective from rural India


  • Chen, Jingjing

    (University of Warwick)


Empowerment for girls and women, Goal 5 for the Sustainable Development Goals, is the key for economic development. As mobile phones become cheaper and more prevalent, a growing number of researchers are investigating their impact on women's empowerment. Most previous research has relied on interviews and cross-sectional data, so their conclusion limited to the association rather than establishing the causal relationship between mobile phones and female empowerment. This paper used Indian Human Development Survey 2005 and 2011-2012 to study the association between mobile phone ownership and women's empowerment in rural India. Then difference in- difference strategy was applied to identify the causal impact of village mobile phone service installation on female empowerment. Like previous studies, the results from this paper suggest that mobile phone ownership was associated with higher women's empowerment. Moreover, mobile phone service installation increased women's involvement in decision-making process but it decreased female labour force participation and contraceptive usage in rural India.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Jingjing, 2021. "Do mobile phones empower women? A perspective from rural India," Warwick-Monash Economics Student Papers 09, Warwick Monash Economics Student Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:wrk:wrkesp:09

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    gender equality ; empower women ; mobile phones ; decision making power ; freedom of movement JEL Classification: J12 ; J13 ; J16;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J12 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Marriage; Marital Dissolution; Family Structure
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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