Wheels of power: Long-term effects of a one time targeted program
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Expansion of opportunities for the female child may impact her aspirations given the prevailing social norms. Furthermore, the new social equilibrium arising from this expansion feeds back into the social norms. We develop a theory that embeds these features to motivate our empirical analysis. We study the long-term rather than the immediate effect of a one-time targeted transfer to school going girls: the cycle program in the Indian state of Bihar that began in 2006. We use novel survey data for 10,000 girls and boys in three states- Bihar, Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Using a triple-differences framework we find a girl with a cycle is more likely to complete school (22.9%) or college (5%) compared to a girl who did not get the cycle. We also found that girls with cycle are 4.1% less likely to be working in agriculture. Girls with cycles are more likely to report not getting permission to work outside and not finding suitable work as the main reason for not working. These findings together suggest a change in their aspirations but also highlight the need for follow-through policies to remove the additional bottlenecks.
- R & P Seminar