DP93 Correlates of women’s autonomy over economic decisions in Papua New Guinea

Development Policy Centre Discussion Paper No. 93

By Rohan Fox

March 2021

Various interventions have been shown to increase economic autonomy for women and development outcomes, including improved access to banking, entrepreneurship opportunities and financial capability. However, there is limited research on this topic in Papua New Guinea (PNG). This study uses the largest financial inclusion survey undertaken in PNG to introduce three stylised facts on gender, financial inclusion, and economic autonomy. First, women who contribute income to the household are more likely to (a) be responsible for spending personal money, (b) participate in household financial decisions, and (c) be solely or jointly involved in major financial decisions. Second, I find no evidence that women who own a bank account are statistically any more likely to have more autonomy over these three key economic decisions. Third, secondary education and age are positively and weakly associated with women’s economic autonomy for smaller financial decisions (i.e., on personal money and participating in household decisions) but not for major decisions.

Fox, R. 2021, ‘Correlates of women’s autonomy over economic decisions in Papua New Guinea’, Discussion Paper No. 93, Development Policy Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University, Canberra.

Karen Downing

Karen Downing is Research Communications Coordinator at the Development Policy Centre.