Gender and Financial Inclusion

Faculty Member: 

Chris Yao Hannah Ji

Proposal Description:

Development practitioners and aid agencies continue to invest significant resources in policies that aim to strengthen women’s financial inclusion as a way of achieving women’s empowerment. These policies range from microfinance to increased access to digital finance and female-friendly proximate banking points. The general presumption of these initiatives is that access to financial tools and services will increase women’s agency and enhance their engagement with labor markets. However, research shows that success in achieving these policy goals is dependent on how well the policies account for initial constraints on women’s agency; such constraints may reflect, for instance, missing markets or conservative gender norms.

The Scarf Fellows will work with a team of researchers to analyze data from multiple field experiments in India that evaluate the value of such financial inclusion policies, how constraints like restrictive gender norms interact with those outcomes, and how we can use this knowledge to design policies that are most effective in giving women agency over their economic lives.

Requisite Skills and Qualifications:

Scarf Fellows will help with literature reviews, support ongoing surveys and, depending on skill set, write code to clean survey data, scrape data and conduct initial analysis. Skill and experience with econometrics software such as R or STATA to run econometric analysis, as well as Python skills, is valuable. Successful fellows will be detail oriented and able to work independently.