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Maternal Depression, Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial

Baranov, Victoria and Bhalotra, Sonia and Biroli, Pietro and Maselko, Joanna (2020) 'Maternal Depression, Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial.' American Economic Review. ISSN 0002-8282

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Abstract

We 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 control trial that provided psychotherapy to 903 pre-natally 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% 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.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: mental health, maternal depression, women's labor supply, empowerment, early life, parenting, child development, randomized controlled trial, Pakistan
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Economics, Department of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2019 13:58
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 11:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/25385

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