Cemmap Working Paper (CWP08/16)

Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers

Date: 02 March 2016
Publisher: The Institute for Fiscal Studies
JEL classification: D13, O12, J16
DOI: 10.1920/wp.cem.2016.0816

This paper studies how targeted cash transfers to women a ffect their empowerment. We use a novel identi cation strategy to measure women's willingness to pay to receive cash transfers instead of their partner receiving it. We apply this among women living in poor households in urban Macedonia. We match experimental data with a unique policy intervention (CCT) in Macedonia o ffering poor households cash transfers conditional on having their children attending secondary school. The program randomized whether the transfer was off ered to household heads or mothers at municipality level, providing us with an exogenous source of variation in (off ered) transfers. We show that women who were o ffered the transfer reveal a lower willingness to pay, and we show that this is in line with theoretical predictions.