Do Information Networks Benefit Households with Female Heads?
38 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2020 Last revised: 2 Aug 2021
Date Written: November 1, 2020
This paper fills a gap in the literature on gender bias in accessing financial assets and income generation activities by analyzing the influence of media and social networks on the financial returns of female-headed households. Empirical evidence suggests that media and social networks are effective tools for diminishing connectivity constraints, raising awareness, and influencing behaviors. Using the India Human Development Survey of female-headed households for the period 2011 to 2012, we find that media and social networks positively impact the financial returns of households. We also find that information networks have positive and significant impacts on the net income from financial investments in urban areas and net income from agricultural activities in rural areas. Following this, we further explore the mediating role of financial expertise among households and confirm its significance in understanding and using the information provided by media and social networks to make relevant financial decisions.
Keywords: Mass media, social networks, financial expertise, female-headed households
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