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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)

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

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    1. Stefan Dercon & Tanguy Bernard and Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2011. "Beyond fatalism - an empirical exploration of self-efficacy and aspirations failure in Ethiopia," Economics Series Working Papers CSAE WPS/2011-03, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    2. Esther Duflo & Michael Kremer & Jonathan Robinson, 2011. "Nudging Farmers to Use Fertilizer: Theory and Experimental Evidence from Kenya," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2350-90, October.
    3. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 2013. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Working Papers 2013-12, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    4. Banerjee, Abhijit V & Newman, Andrew F, 1993. "Occupational Choice and the Process of Development," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(2), pages 274-98, April.
    5. 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.
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