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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 ()
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Joanna Maselko: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

No 11187, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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 of 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: empowerment; randomized controlled trial; early life; child development; Pakistan; maternal depression; women's labor supply; mental health; parenting (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 I30 O15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 99 pages
Date: 2017-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem, nep-dev, nep-exp and nep-hea
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Published in: American Economic Review, 2020, 110 (3), 824-859

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