Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development?

Author(s): Matthias Doepke and Michèle Tertilt

Publication Date: June 2011

Keyword(s): Development, Female Empowerment, Gender Equality, Marital Bargaining and Theory of the Household

Programme Area(s): International Macroeconomics

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? We develop a series of noncooperative family bargaining models to understand what kind of frictions can give rise to the observed empirical relationships. We then assess the policy implications of these models. We 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.

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Bibliographic Reference

Doepke, M and Tertilt, M. 2011. 'Does Female Empowerment Promote Economic Development?'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.