[Editor:] Anderson, Siwan [Editor:] Beaman, Lori [Editor:] Platteau, Jean-Philippe [Title:] Towards Gender Equity in Development [ISBN:] 978-0-19-882959-1 [Series:] UNU-WIDER Studies in Development Economics [Place:] Oxford [Publisher:] Oxford University Press [Year:] 2018 [Pages:] 217-236
A substantial amount of development programming assumes that women have preferences or aptitudes that are more conducive to economic development. For example, conditional cash transfer programmes commonly deliver funding to female household heads, and many microcredit schemes focus on women’s savings groups. This chapter examines a public goods game in northern Liberia. Women contributed substantially more to a small-scale development project when playing with other women than in mixed-gender groups, where they contributed at about the same levels as men. We try to explain this composition effect using a structural model, survey responses, and a second manipulation. Results suggest women in the all-women group put more weight on co-operation regardless of the value of the public good, the fear of discovery, or the desire to match others’ behaviour. We conjecture that players have stronger motivation to signal public-spiritedness when primed to consider themselves representatives of the women of the community.
economic development microcredit schemes women’s savings groups public goods gender Liberia