Victoria Baranov, Sonia Bhalotra, Pietro Biroli, Joanna Maselko

We evaluate the medium-term impacts of treating maternal depression on women’s financial empowerment and parenting decisions. We leverage experimental variation induced by a cluster-randomized control trial that provided psychotherapy to perinatally depressed mothers in rural Pakistan. It was one of the largest psychotherapy interventions in the world and highly successful at reducing depression. We locate mothers seven years after the end of the intervention to evaluate its longer run effects. We find that the intervention improved women’s financial empowerment, increasing their control over household spending. Additionally, the intervention increased both time- and monetary-intensive parental investments.

JEL Codes
I15: Health and Economic Development
I30: Welfare and Poverty: General
O15: Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
mental health
maternal depression
women's labor supply
early life
Child Development
randomized control trials