Can development aid empower women? Evidence from a field experiment in the Congo

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Can development aid empower women? We randomly assigned 1,250 Congolese communities to a development program that distributed development funds and included women in project selection and implementation, with the goal of empowering women. In 2010 and 2011, we revisited 816 treatment and control communities to collect survey data. Furthermore, in 413 communities we implemented a $1,000 unconditional cash transfer program to assess behavioral change. We find only weak evidence that the program influenced the role of women in the community and policy outcomes and no evidence that the program had an impact on the role of women within the household or attitudes toward them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1044
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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