Maternal Depression, Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial
AbstractWe evaluate the medium-term impacts of treating maternal depression on women's mental health, financial empowerment, and parenting decisions. We leverage variation induced by a cluster-randomized controlled trial that provided psychotherapy to 903 prenatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan. It was one of the world's largest psychotherapy interventions, and it dramatically reduced postpartum depression. Seven years after psychotherapy concluded, we returned to the study site to find that impacts on women's mental health had persisted, with a 17 percent reduction in depression rates. The intervention also improved women's financial empowerment and increased both time- and money-intensive parental investments by between 0.2 and 0.3 standard deviations.
CitationBaranov, Victoria, Sonia Bhalotra, Pietro Biroli, and Joanna Maselko. 2020. "Maternal Depression, Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial." American Economic Review, 110 (3): 824-59. DOI: 10.1257/aer.20180511
- G51 Household Saving, Borrowing, Debt, and Wealth
- I12 Health Behavior
- J16 Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
- O15 Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration