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Anushka CHAWLA - Aix-Marseille School of Economics​​

Anushka Chawla (PhD Candidate, Aix-Marseille School of Economics) will present "The role of family members in the demand for maternal health services : A field experiment in India" with Pooja Suri (PhD Candidate, UC Berkeley).

Abstract :
A growing body of research focuses on family members, neighbours, peers, and the larger community as important sources of health information for young women. However, in traditional societies like those in rural India, women have limited agency over their own health and decision making due to restrictive social norms often imposed by family members such as the mother-in-law. In addition, lack of decision-making power in the household leads to high costs of bargaining for women. We have recently launched a field experiment in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh to explore the role of intergenerational bargaining and communication within the household in order to improve the access of young married women in rural India to maternal health services. Our preliminary baseline data suggests that young women are unsure about good maternal health practices and rely heavily on their mothers or mothers-in-law, who in turn rely on traditional knowledge. With this in mind, we will randomize whether health information is given to daughters-in-law, or both daughters-in-law and mothers-in-law. Further to understand the role of the community in upholding traditional practices, we will cross-randomize whether the treatment of giving information to households is made common knowledge or not.