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Customized Credit Transfer and Women Empowerment: Evidence from Randomized Controlled Trials in Bangladesh

Jinnat Ara and Dipanwita Sarkar

No 62, QuBE Working Papers from QUT Business School

Abstract: This study focuses on a randomized experiment conducted by BRAC’s Targeting the Ultra poor (TUP) program in rural Bangladesh and examines the effect of an intervention that combines the availability of credit with supports offered through transfer programs on women empowerment. Using two years panel data, this study investigates if the credit program had an effect on women’s ability to influence in intra-household decision-making, communal cohesion, boosting consciousness for their rights inside and outside the household, competitiveness and self-confidence– a behavioural trait that women in rural Bangladesh are severely lacking in, and which is likely to be correlated with empowerment. Despite randomization, we estimate the effects of the intervention using difference-in-difference after controlling for respondent’s socio-demographic characteristics. Our empirical results show positively significant effects on enhancing sole and joint decision-making capabilities, social inclusion, and awareness about social and legal issues while domestic violence against women is likely to decrease after the intervention.

Date: 2021-02-06
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