Essays on Women's Empowerment in Developing Countries
von Debosree Banerjee
Datum der mündl. Prüfung:2014-09-08
Betreuer:Prof. Dr. Stephan Klasen
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Matin Qaim
Gutachter:Prof. Dr. Marcela Ibáñez
EnglischIn our study, we attempt to discuss women’s empowerment in three different essays. In the first essay, we discuss how access to agriculture market by female farmers in Cameroon could improve their own control over the proceeds of their agricultural output. Scope of this research falls in the general category of household and community level factors affecting women’s empowerment. In the second and third essay discuss aspects of participatory development in India in areas ranging from community development to hierarchical institutes and politics. We concentrate on two aspects of participatory development: One is under-representation of women in leadership; and second is gender differences in leadership style with respect to their risk and ambiguity attitude. For the purpose of the thesis we restrict ourselves only to developing countries where gender differences are more pronounced. In the following paragraph we briefly describe each of the essays. In the first essay, using micro level data from Cameroon we apply the theories of intrahousehold bargaining to models in which female farmers decide whether to take up cocoa marketing on their own or to rely on others to sell the product. We analyze the effect of marketing on control over the proceeds. We find that controlling both production and marketing provides higher bargaining power over proceeds compared to a situation in which the farmer participates only in production and delegate the task of marketing to another family member. Our data also indicate that in the cocoa sector of Cameroon, female farmers’ market participation is hindered by existing price discrimination, which in turn reduces their intrahousehold bargaining power. In other words, participating female farmers receive much lower prices for their produce than participating males. To generate higher revenue, female farmers hand over the marketing responsibility to a male in the family. Such non-participation results in lower control over the proceeds by the female farmer, as the individual doing the marketing can now claim a higher share in the revenue. Additionally we find that collective marketing contributes to eliminating price discrimination and promoting female market participation and thus their control over proceeds. The second essay investigates the process of gender self-segregation into leadership roles that imply control over others. We consider how conformity to social norms and aversion to feedback affect self-selection. Using a public good game with third party punishment we explore gender differences in willingness to assume the role of third party across matrilineal and patriarchal societies. Our findings indicate that segregation into leadership roles is due to conformity to pre-assigned gender roles across cultures. We find that women in the matrilineal society are more willing to assume power roles than in the patriarchal society. Moreover, we find that anonymity over the role of third party results in increase participation of the segregated gender. Affirmative action seems to be an effective tool to promoting female leaders in societies where women hold a lower status; yet in societies where women are powerful the effect can be counterproductive. In the third essay, we analyze gender difference in risk and ambiguity attitude of subjects across two different ethnicities that differ in the degree of female empowerment. Santal is a patriarchal tribe and Khasi is a matrilineal tribe with men and women being the social head in their respective societies. We compare subject’s willingness to take up risk and ambiguity for themselves and on behalf of others. Besides we analyze the differences in risk and ambiguity attitude of subjects from these societies. Our findings show that women in both societies are significantly more risk averse, but not ambiguity averse. Patriarchal male and female are more risk averse in group risk than in individual risk but matrilineal subjects are not. Therefore, higher risk aversion in group is an ethnic trait among Santals. Comparing the between ethnicity differences we find that matrilineal subjects are more risk averse than patriarchal subjects. Regarding attitudes towards ambiguity, we did not find any gender or ethnicity differences.
Keywords: women' empowerment; Gender and leadership; India; Experimental economics