This study assesses the impact of livestock transfer and associated training on women’s empowerment in Zambia. Women’s empowerment is measured with women’s ‘decision making power’ on different farm household activities and resources. Using a two-period panel data from a field experiment in the Copperbelt Province, first, we demonstrate empirically that women’s empowerment serves as a key driver of economic wellbeing; it has positive effects on consumption expenditures and dietary diversity. We then use the difference-in-difference method with household level fixed effects and find a significant positive impact of the intervention on both women and men’s empowerment measures. While men and women from ‘treated’ households made most household decisions jointly, the intervention had larger impact on women’s decision making power. We demonstrate that the improvement in men and women’s decision making power largely comes from expansion in joint decisions. In particular, the intervention helped increase the proportion of joint decisions by 16% in all household activities considered and by 21% in decision spheres related to the transferred assets. The finding is consistent with the prediction of the Nash bargaining model because transferring economic resources to women members leads to pareto optimality in resource allocation only through co-operation between men and women.


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