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

Victoria Baranov, Sonia Bhalotra, Pietro Biroli () and Joanna Maselko

No 60 JEL Classification: I15, I30, O15, CHILD Working Papers Series from Centre for Household, Income, Labour and Demographic Economics (CHILD) - CCA

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev, nep-exp, nep-hea and nep-neu
Date: 2017
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