A Structural Equation Model of Female Empowerment

Ballon, Paola. 2017. A Structural Equation Model of Female Empowerment. The Journal of Development Studies. Published online: 20 Dec 2017: 1-18. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220388.2017.1414189.

This paper proposes a structural equation model to measure and explain female empowerment in Cambodia. Empowerment is defined as the decision-making ability of a woman regarding her strategic and non-strategic life choices. Grounded in the Capability Approach and in the gender economics literature this conceptualisation accounts for three key elements: resources, values/traditions, and decision-outcomes. These elements interact into a system of structural equations where a latent variable is specified to measure empowerment; decision-outcomes enter as partial metrics of empowerment; and resources, and values/traditions are modelled as exogenous factors. Stochastic dominance analysis is used to compare the empowerment status of women across life choices.

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