Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development?

48 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Matthias Doepke

Matthias Doepke

Northwestern University - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Michèle Tertilt

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 6 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 1, 2011

Abstract

Empirical evidence suggests that money in the hands of mothers (as opposed to their husbands) benefits children. Does this observation imply that targeting transfers to women is good economic policy? The authors develop a series of noncooperative family bargaining models to understand what kind of frictions can give rise to the observed empirical relationships. Then they assess the policy implications of these models. The authors find that targeting transfers to women can have unintended consequences and may fail to make children better off. Moreover, different forms of empowering women may lead to opposite results. More research is needed to distinguish between alternative theoretical models.

Keywords: Economic Theory & Research, Gender and Law, Debt Markets, Inequality, Public Sector Economics

Suggested Citation

Doepke, Matthias and Tertilt, Michèle, Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development? (June 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5714, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1875420

Matthias Doepke (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Michèle Tertilt

University of Mannheim - Department of Economics ( email )

D-68131 Mannheim
Germany

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