NBER Working Papers and Publications
|September 2019||On Her Own Account: How Strengthening Women's Financial Control Affects Labor Supply and Gender Norms|
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Can greater control over earned income incentivize women to work and influence gender norms? In collaboration with Indian government partners, we provided rural women with individual bank accounts and randomly varied whether their wages from a public workfare program were directly deposited into these accounts or into the male household head’s account (the status quo). Women in a random subset of villages were also trained on account use. In the short run, relative to women just offered bank accounts, those who also received direct deposit and training increased their labor supply in the public and private sectors. In the long run, gender norms liberalized: women who received direct deposit and training became more accepting of female work, and their husbands perceived fewer social costs t...
|April 2017||Household Matters: Revisiting the Returns to Capital among Female Micro-entrepreneurs|
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Several field experiments find positive returns to grants for male and not female micro-entrepreneurs. But, these analyses largely overlook that male and female micro-entrepreneurs often belong to the same household. Using data from randomized trials in India, Sri Lanka and Ghana, we show that the gender gap in microenterprise performance is not due to a gap in aptitude. Instead, low average returns of female-run enterprises are observed because women's capital is invested into their husbands' enterprises rather than their own. When women are the sole household enterprise operator, capital shocks lead to large increases in profits. Household-level income gains are equivalent regardless of the grant or loan recipient's gender.
|April 2015||Friendship at Work: Can Peer Effects Catalyze Female Entrepreneurship?|
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Does the lack of peers contribute to the observed gender gap in entrepreneurial success, and is the constraint stronger for women facing more restrictive social norms? We offered two days of business counseling to a random sample of customers of India’s largest women’s bank. A random subsample was invited to attend with a friend. The intervention had a significant immediate impact on participants’ business activity, but only if they were trained in the presence of a friend. Four months later, those trained with a friend were more likely to have taken out business loans, were less likely to be housewives, and reported increased business activity and higher household income. The positive impacts of training with a friend were stronger among women from religious or caste groups with social no...
Published: Erica Field & Seema Jayachandran & Rohini Pande & Natalia Rigol, 2016. "Friendship at Work: Can Peer Effects Catalyze Female Entrepreneurship?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 125-53, May. citation courtesy of
|September 2013||Bank Failures and Output During the Great Depression|
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In response to the Financial Crisis of 2008, macroeconomic policymakers employed a range of tools designed to prevent failures of large, complex financial institutions ("banks"). The Treasury and the Fed justified these actions by arguing that bank failures exacerbate output declines, rather than just reflecting output losses that have already occurred. This view is consistent with economic models based on credit market imperfections, but it is an empirical question as to whether the feedback from failures to output losses is substantial.
This paper examines the relation between bank failures and output by re-considering Bernanke's (1983) analysis of the Great Depression. We find little indication that bank failures exerted a substantial or sustained impact on output during this period...