Date of Graduation

Spring 5-15-2018

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar


In developing countries, menstruation poses two significant challenges for females. First, the resources required for periods are expensive for those in low-income communities. Hence, the absence of such menstrual products lowers females’ access to schooling and employment. Next, periods are also heavily stigmatized – especially in poorer or rural areas. Such taboos surrounding menstruation negatively impacts females’ psychological development and hamper their prospects of socialization. Thus, to analyze this issue, we ran a randomized control trial in Nepal, where we provided reusable menstrual pads and / or health seminar to 312 schoolgirls and 100 of their mothers. Our outcomes demonstrate that the reusable pads cause a significant decline in school absenteeism for schoolgirls in our sample. However, we are also able to find a heterogeneous impact of our treatment, where females from poorer households seem to benefit disproportionately from our menstrual resource. In contrast, the health seminars do not impact school attendance, but do create statistically significant increases in the social and psychological wellbeing of the schoolgirls. Finally, we are unable to identify any impact of our treatments on mothers in the sample.