Research Summary

Information and relationships: Measuring the impact of information and relational skills on girls' health and social outcomes in Zambia

by Kathleen L. McGinn


With Nava Ashraf & Corinne Low

Accurate information is necessary for making good decisions, but information held by one party may not be sufficient when decisions are made interdependently with other parties.  In Zambia, girls' decisions around school attendance are made interdependently with family members and other parties potentially more powerful than the girls themselves, and girls' decisions around sexual behavior are made interdependently with intimate partners and peers.  These decisions have serious, measurable impact on the girls' health and welfare.  We are carrying out a randomized controlled experiment among 8th grade girls in Lusaka, Zambia, testing the efficacy of information alone relative to information with relational skills training (and control treatment) in affecting girls' school attendance and health outcomes.