On her own account: How strengthening women’s financial control impacts labor supply and gender norms

This research leverages a randomized controlled trial covering 197 village clusters in northern Madhya Pradesh, India, where the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme typically deposited women workers’ wages in the bank account of the man head of household. The authors randomly varied whether women received bank accounts, training in account use, and direct deposit of public sector wages into their own (versus husbands’) accounts. Relative to the accounts only group, women who also received direct deposit and training worked more in public and private sector jobs. The private sector result suggests gender norms initially constrained women’s employment. Three years later, direct deposit and training broadly liberalized women’s own work-related norms, and shifted perceptions of community norms.

  • Date: 01/07/2021
  • Topics: Financial education, Gender equality, Inclusive finance
  • Regions: Asia and the Pacific
  • Resource type: Publications
  • Institutions: American Economic Review