Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Paper Series,
Uppsala University, Department of Economics

No 2008:11: Economic or Non-Economic Factors – What Empowers Women?

Ranjula B () and Fan Yang Wallentin ()
Additional contact information
Ranjula B: Department of Economics, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Fan Yang Wallentin: Department of Information Science, Division of Statistics, Uppsala University, Postal: Uppsala University, P.O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden

Abstract: Microfinance programs like Self Help Group Bank linkage program (SHG), aim to empower women through provision of financial services. We investigate this further to determine whether it is the economic or the non-economic factors that have a greater impact on empowering women. Using household survey data on SHG from India, a general structural model is adopted where the latent women empowerment and its latent components (economic factors and financial confidence, managerial control, behavioural changes, education and networking, communication and political participation and awareness) are measured using observed indicators. The results show that for SHG members, economic factors, managerial control and behavioural changes are the most significant factors in empowering women.

Keywords: microfinance; impact; women empowerment

JEL-codes: D12; D63; D91; J16; O12; O16

34 pages, November 23, 2008

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