Paper forthcoming in The Economic Journal

10 April 2017 14:23

(updated: 10 April 2017 15:00)

Paper forthcoming in The Economic Journal

The paper “Measuring and Changing Control: Women's Empowerment and Targeted Transfers” is accepted for publication in The Economic Journal.

The paper is written by The Choice Lab researcher Ingvild Almås jointly with Alex Armand (University of Navarra), Orazio Attanasio (UCL) and Pedro Carneiro (UCL).

For further information, download a recent working paper version as PDF or read the abstract below.


Working Paper (PDF 2MB)



This paper suggests, uses, and evaluates a novel identification strategy to measure power in the household. Our strategy is to elicit women's willingness to pay to receive a cash transfer instead of their spouse receiving the same transfer. We selected participants from a sample of women who had already participated in a unique policy intervention in Macedonia offering poor households cash transfers conditional on having their children attending secondary school. The program randomized whether the cash transfers were offered to household heads (generally a male) or mothers, at municipality level. We show that women who were offered the transfer on average have stronger measured empowerment, and IV estimations confirm that targeted transfers empower women according to our measure. We further show that this elicitation is in line with theoretical predictions from standard models of household decision making.