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

99 Pages Posted: 5 Dec 2017

See all articles by Victoria Baranov

Victoria Baranov

University of Melbourne

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Pietro Biroli

University of Zurich - Department of Economics

Joanna Maselko

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Epidemiology

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.

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

JEL Classification: I15, I30, O15

Suggested Citation

Baranov, Victoria and Bhalotra, Sonia R. and Biroli, Pietro and Maselko, Joanna, Maternal Depression,Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Large Randomized Control Trial. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11187, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3081421

Victoria Baranov (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne

Sonia R. Bhalotra

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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

Pietro Biroli

University of Zurich - Department of Economics ( email )

Zürich
Switzerland

Joanna Maselko

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Department of Epidemiology ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

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