Credit Groups, Women’s Political Engagement and Public Goods Provision

Das et al. (2016) evaluated the effect SHG membership had on women’s political engagement in Indian village assemblies. They found that SHG membership in 17 major states was positively and strongly associated with increased attendance in village assemblies. This correlation was stronger in states with stricter gender norms. It should be noted that attendance increase was not necessarily linked to more vocalization at the village assemblies. Their political presence did change the composition of public goods since women have different investment preferences than men. They prefer investment in water, sanitation and health whereas men want better roads, schools and irrigation facilities. 

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