Register for the event
As part of the Vilfredo Pareto Research Seminar series, the International Economics Department at the Graduate Institute is pleased to invite you to a public talk given by Vincent Somville, Assistant Professor at NHH Norwegian School of Economics.
He will present his paper On the Doorstep of Adulthood: Economic Empowerment and Fertility Choices of Young Women in Tanzania, coauthored with Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge, Kjetil Bjorvatn, Fortunata Makene, Linda Helgesson Sekei and Bertil Tungodden.
Abstract: Young women leaving school have to make important choices about family and employment. But in a rural, low-income context, a lack of opportunities and decision-making power may severely limit the possibility of achieving their life-long potential. We here report from a large-scale, long-term, cluster-randomized trial designed to study how female empowerment, in the health and economic domains, affects economic achievements and fertility decisions through changes in opportunities and decision-making power. The study is specifically designed to document potential complementarities between health and economic empowerment. Economic empowerment leads to a remarkable increase in self-employment and income, but, surprisingly, both empowerment programs caused an increase in teenage pregnancies. We attribute the increase in teenage pregnancy from the economic program to an income effect and from the health program to more committed relationships. Our results carry an important message to policy makers about the potential, but also the complexity, of female empowerment interventions in low-income contexts.
Vincent Somville is affiliated to the Centre of Excellence FAIR (Centre for Experimental Research on Fairness, Inequality and Rationality) and The Choice Lab. He is also Associated Senior Researcher at Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) in Bergen. As a researcher and teacher in development economics, he has a particular interest in behavioural and experimental economics.