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Title: Women's empowerment and the welfare of children
Author: Flores-Martinez, Artemisa
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis investigates whether women's empowerment affects children's wellbeing in two developing countries: Mexico and India. The first chapter provides a background on women's empowerment. The second chapter evaluates a conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, which provides poor women in Mexico with tools to be better mothers, in terms of its impact on birthweight. The third chapter analyses whether empowered women, referred as those who have progressive gender attitudes, are more likely to have a firstborn girl in Delhi, India. Specifically, the second chapter evaluates PROGRESA-Oportunidades, a program that pays mothers cash in exchange of their investment in their children's human capital: education, health, and nutrition. Using quantile regressions, the chapter finds a positive and significant program effect, but babies at the upper tail of the conditional birthweight distribution seem to have benefited the most. Moreover, maternal smoking during pregnancy is associated with a 459-gram decrease on birthweights at the 20th percentile of the conditional distribution, completely wiping out any program benefits. This effect is not picked up by least squares regression estimates, which is the technique used by previous literature on the subject. The third chapter turns to India, a country that has lost millions of girls to sex-selective abortions. The chapter first constructs a women's empowerment (progressivity ) index using a latent factor model, and then assesses whether progressive women are more likely to have a firstborn girl in Delhi. The latter territory has, unlike the Indian average, 'missing' women even among first order births. The results show that a one-standard deviation increase in the progressivity index is associated with a 5.8-percentage point increase in the likelihood of a firstborn girl relative to women who have not yet given birth.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: University of Warwick, Department of Economics ; Secretaría de Educación Pública (SEP), Mexico
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform ; HQ The family. Marriage. Woman