DP6195 Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines

Author(s): Nava Ashraf, Dean S. Karlan, Wesley Yin
Publication Date: March 2007
Keyword(s): commitment, female empowerment, household decision making, microfinance, savings
JEL(s): D12, D63, D91, J16, O12, O16
Programme Areas: Development Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6195

Female 'empowerment' has increasingly become a policy goal, both as an end to itself and as a means to achieving other development goals. Microfinance in particular has often been argued, but not without controversy, to be a tool for empowering women. Here, using a randomized controlled trial, we examine whether access to an individually-held commitment savings product leads 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 towards female-oriented durables goods purchased in the household.