10 February 2010

Randomisation, Microfinance, and Female Empowerment

All in one paper!

New in World Development (Ungated here) Nava, Ashraf , Dean, Karlan and Wesley, Yin find that
“using a randomized controlled trial, we examine whether access to and marketing of an individually held commitment savings product lead to an increase in female decision-making power within the household. We find positive impacts, particularly for women who have below median decision-making power in the baseline, and we find this leads to a shift toward female-oriented durables goods.”
Shame that it is difficult to interpret the size of the effect because the dependent variable (for decision-making power) is an index based on whether the respondent, spouse or both decide on 9 different decisions.

2 comments:

Catherine Burns said...

Like randomisation and microfinance? There's more where that came from on the Financial Access Initiative website! (financialaccess.org)

dkarlan said...

Glad you like the paper!

To interpret the magnitude of the treatment effect, divide coefficient on the index by the standard deviation in the control group (from Table 1). This then tells you how big the change is relative to others in the population... this is the standard method for education interventions, e.g., to talk about standard deviation shifts in test scores. I hope that helps.

Cheers,
Dean

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