Gender Learning 2021 - Women in the Work Force: How to Get Them In, What Keeps Them In, and Why Do We Care?

"Results from contexts as diverse as rural Chad, urban Djibouti, and Nairobi highlight that liquidity constraints are a key barrier to women’s economic empowerment."

This Bite+ presents new evidence on the effectiveness of cash grants and workfare programs in getting women to enter the labor force. Results highlight how unconditional cash grants can be effective tools at... view more


Introduction and Opening Remarks by Elena Bardasi, Senior Economist from the World Bank. 


Women at Work: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Urban Djiibouti by Emanuela Galasso, Senior Economist at the World Bank. 


The Effect of Cash Transfers on Women's Productive Activities - Evidence from an Ultra Poor Setting by Eeshani Kandpal, Research Economist at the World Bank.


A Firm of One's Own: Experimental Evidence on Credit Constraints and Occupational Choice by Pamela Jakiela Associate Professor, Economics at the Williams College.


Can Public Works Increase Women's Autonomy? Experimental Evidence from Six Countries by John Loeser, Young Professional at the World Bank.

About the Presenters

Elena Bardasi

Senior Economist, World Bank

Dr. Bardasi has been writing and publishing on female entrepreneurship, female employment, and gender issues in formal and informal labor markets, wage differentials, occupational segregation, and time use. She has contributed to the Africa Competitiveness Report and to several Investment Climate Assessments of Sub-Saharan African countries and has co-edited a special issue on Female Entrepreneurship in Small Business Economics. Prior to her current position, Bardasi was part of the Gender Unit of the World Bank Poverty Reduction and Economic Management network. Before joining the Bank she was Senior Economist at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex (UK), working on issues of labor market dynamics, poverty dynamics, poverty in old age, and family policies in OECD countries. Elena earned her Ph.D. in Economics from the European University Institute.

Emanuela Galasso

Senior Economist, World Bank

Emanuela Galasso is a Senior Economist in the Development Research Group (Poverty and Inequality Team) at the World Bank. Her publications focus on how public policy can shape household and children's well being, with a focus on social protection, nutrition and early childhood development interventions in both middle- and low-income countries. She holds a B.A. in Economics from Bocconi University and a MA and Ph.D. in Economics from Boston College.

Eeshani Kandpal

Research Economist, World Bank

Eeshani Kandpal is an Economist in the Development Research Group of the World Bank. Her research agenda focuses on how intended and unintended consequences of health interventions, cash transfers, and empowerment programs affect women and children’s welfare. The second theme of her research is that inequality in access to government services or social capital often interacts with attributes like gender, wealth, and ethnicity, or caste. Eeshani has a Ph.D. and MS from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a BA from Macalester College, Minnesota. She was born and raised in India.

Pamela Jakiela

Associate Professor, Economics,  Williams College

Pamela Jakiela is an Associate Professor of Economics at Williams College. Previously, she was a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, where she studied gender issues, behavioral development economics, survey design and measurement, and impact evaluation. Her work has been published in leading academic journals including Science and the Review of Economic Studies and has been featured in media outlets including the New York Times and NPR. Her current work includes research on women’s labor force participation and occupational choice, the gender dynamics of investments in early childhood, and the impacts of cash grants on subsistence entrepreneurs.

John Loeser

Young Professional, World Bank

John is a Young Professional (Economist) in the Development Impact Evaluation (DIME) group at the World Bank. He completed his Ph.D. in Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Berkeley in 2019. John is a development economist who focuses on applying theory to expand the set of questions we can answer with impact evaluations. His current research develops revealed preference methods for welfare measurement, focusing on productivity in smallholder agriculture in Bangladesh, India, Mozambique, and Rwanda.