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

Victoria Baranov (), Sonia Bhalotra, Pietro Biroli () and Joanna Maselko ()
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Victoria Baranov: University of Melbourne
Sonia Bhalotra: University of Essex
Joanna Maselko: University of North Carolina

No 2018-021, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: We evaluate the medium-term impacts 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 of the largest psychotherapy interventions in the world and highly successful at reducing depression. We locate mothers seven years after the end of the intervention to evaluate its longer run effects. We find that the intervention improved women’s financial empowerment, increasing their control over household spending. Additionally, the intervention increased both time- and monetary-intensive parental investments.

Keywords: mental health; maternal depression; women's labor supply; empowerment; early life; parenting; Child Development; randomized control trials; Pakistan (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 I30 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-exp, nep-hea and nep-neu
Date: 2018-04
Note: HI, ECI
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