AREC's professor Leonard and Alumni Bakhtiar Publish a Working Paper: Women's Empowerment and the Intrinsic Demand for Agency

The team in the field: Marietou Sanogo, Lawal Ishaq Simiyat, Oti Iheanyi, Ayuba Umar, Aaron David and Christy Shanding

January 10, 2023

White paper: WOMEN'S EMPOWERMENT AND THE INTRINSIC DEMAND FOR AGENCY: Experimental Evidence from Nigeria

The authors studied the way households make decisions by separating husbands and wives and asking them to make decisions on how they would use money given to them in the experiment. They were allowed to communicate their preferences and change their decisions after they heard what each other wanted. However, decision making was dominated, in this context, by women giving their husbands their right to make a decision at all: two thirds of women choose "whatever he wants" when given the option. The authors also show that, after a large eighteen-month empowerment program, women were fourteen percentage points less likely to choose this option, but only if their husbands didn't know what they had chosen. Full article available here.