Article | World Development | March 2010

Female Empowerment: Further Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines

by Nava Ashraf, Dean Karlan and Wesley Yin

Abstract

Female "empowerment" has increasingly become a policy goal, both as an end to itself and as a means to achieving other development goals. Microfinance in particular has often been argued, but not without controversy, to be a tool for empowering women. Here, using a randomized controlled trial, we examine whether access to and marketing of an individually held commitment savings product lead to an increase in female decision-making power within the household. We find positive impacts, particularly for women who have below median decision-making power in the baseline, and we find this leads to a shift toward female-oriented durable goods purchased in the household.

Keywords: Goals and Objectives; Product; Microfinance; Decision Making; Policy; Welfare or Wellbeing; Gender Characteristics; Power and Influence; Philippines;

Citation:

Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, and Wesley Yin. "Female Empowerment: Further Evidence From a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines." World Development 38, no. 3 (March 2010): 333–344.