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How aspiration failure causes poverty and inequality in Peru

File Created On:
May, 2016

Despite the recent decrease in poverty rates in Peru, inequality has persisted in which the poorest population are the socially excluded. This paper investigates, with a psychological and sociological approach, the factor behind social exclusion among the indigenous identified as aspiration or aspiration failure. In this regard, the paper discusses where aspiration failure comes from that results in different socioeconomic outcomes, and what behaviours it may lead to.

Abstract: This paper aims to contribute to understand the mechanisms underlying the complex exclusion process of indigenous people in Peru, by analysing the role played by aspirations in the investment in education of indigenous children. To address these issues, the paper relies on a very rich data set, the Young Lives data, and use an original instrument that allow to cast light on the causal relation between aspiration and educational outcomes. We find that aspiration failure is a channel of inequality persistence between indigenous and non-indigenous people, but that aspiration failure do not takes the form of a lack of aspiration. Indigenous children do not have internalized racial schemas about occupation or about their opportunities. However, the gap between their aspiration and their current socio-economic status is too large, in so far as it has a disincentive effect on forward-looking behaviour.

Read article: https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01291455/document

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