Ashraf, Nava, Dean Karlan, Wesley Yin (2010) "Female Empowerment: Impact of a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines." World Development, 38(3): 333-344. doi:10.1016/j.worlddev.2009.05.010
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 leads 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 towards female-oriented durables goods purchased in the household.
Link to article here.