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Believing in Oneself: Can Psychological Training Overcome the Effects of Social Exclusion?

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Author Info

  • Ghoshal, Sayantan

    (Glasgow University)

  • Jana, Smarajit

    (Durbar University)

  • Mani, Anandi

    (University of Warwick)

  • Mitra, Sandip

    (ISI Kolkata)

  • Roy, Sanchari

    (University of Warwick)

Registered author(s):

    Abstract

    This paper examines whether psychological empowerment can mitigate mental constraints that impede efforts to overcome the effects of social exclusion. Using a randomized control trial, we study a training program specifically designed to reduce stigma and build self-efficacy among poor and marginalized sex workers in Kolkata, India. We find positive and significant impacts of the training on self-reported measures of efficacy, happiness and self-esteem in the treatment group, both relative to the control group as well as baseline measures. We also find higher effort towards improving future outcomes as measured by the participants’ savings choices and health-seeking behaviour, relative to the control group. These findings highlight the need to account for psychological factors in the design of antipoverty programmes.

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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/research/wpfeed/152-2013_mani.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) in its series CAGE Online Working Paper Series with number 152.

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    Date of creation: 2013
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:152

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    Web page: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/
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    Related research

    Keywords: social exclusion; self-efficacy; self-esteem; future-orientation; sex workers;

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    References

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    1. Bernard, Tanguy & Dercon, Stefan & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2011. "Beyond fatalism: An empirical exploration of self-efficacy and aspirations failure in Ethiopia," IFPRI discussion papers 1101, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52, January.
    3. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-34, December.
    4. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2009. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," NBER Working Papers 15131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Andrew F. Newman, 1990. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Discussion Papers 911, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
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