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Maternal Depression, Women’s Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial

Citation

Baranov, Victoria; Bhalotra, Sonia; Biroli, Pietro; & Maselko, Joanna (2020). Maternal Depression, Women's Empowerment, and Parental Investment: Evidence from a Randomized Controlled Trial. American Economic Review, 110(3), 824-59.

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 controlled trial that provided psychotherapy to 903 prenatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan. It was one of the world's largest psych-otherapy 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.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1257/aer.20180511

Reference Type

Journal Article

Journal Title

American Economic Review

Author(s)

Baranov, Victoria
Bhalotra, Sonia
Biroli, Pietro
Maselko, Joanna

Year Published

2020

Volume Number

110

Issue Number

3

Pages

824-59

Reference ID

12697