Financial Education, Couple’s Communication, and Gender Norms: Explaining the Mixed Effects of Women’s Empowerment on Intra-household Bargaining

Financial Education, Couple’s Communication, and Gender Norms: Explaining the Mixed Effects of Women’s Empowerment on Intra-household Bargaining

Summary

Evidence on the effects of female economic and psychological empowerment interventions on intra-household bargaining and, by extension, intimate partner violence is mixed. While these interventions sometimes lead to less conflict between male and female partners, at other times they can foster more abuse.

On the one hand, resources theory asserts that economic scarcity increases the likelihood of conflict, since partners bargain over the distribution of limited goods. On the other hand, theories of backlash posit that the relative shift in control, independent of the absolute level of resources, threatens the man’s role and identity, prompting him to reassert control or extract resources via violence. But what explains, when either of the two theories holds? This exploratory study generates hypotheses for responsing to this question by comparing the reception of an established tablet-based financial education application targeting women with an enhanced version that frames financial education as a collaborative task and thus includes communication tips targeting the couple. The two versions were shared with 20 women and 10 of their male partners and a baseline survey, endline interviews, and tablet telemetric data were collected. Through the application of Multiple Correspondence Analysis (MCA), an inductive statistical technique adequate for small samples, three major female relationship profiles were identified using baseline household variables.

Complete content of the publication

Tags

Empowerment Financial literacy Women

Autors

Matthew Bird

Additional information

publication date

10/02/2020

Document type

Research

Geographical scope

Colombia

Who is it for

General

Number of pages

45

Code JEL

D13, J16, G41