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Beyond fatalism - an empirical exploration of self-efficacy and aspirations failure in Ethiopia

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  • Stefan Dercon
  • Tanguy Bernard and Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse

Abstract

Fatalism is considered pervasive, not least within many poor communities.� In this paper, we explore whether 'fatalistic' beliefs have implications for the attitudes and behaviour of poor rural households towards investment in the future.� We first explore the idea of fatalism drawing inspiration from theories in psychology focusing on the role of locus of control and self-efficacy, and from the theoretical framework of aspiration failure as developed in recent economic literature.� Using survey data from rural Ethiopia, we find evidence of fatalistic beliefs among a substantial group of rural households, as well as indicators consistent with a small aspiration gap and low self-efficacy.� We also find that such beliefs consistently correlate with lower demand for credit, in terms of loan size, repayment horizon and productive purposes.

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Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number CSAE WPS/2011-03.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2011
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:csae-wps/2011-03

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  7. Banerjee, Abhijit Vinayak & Benabou, Roland & Mookherjee, Dilip (ed.), 2006. "Understanding Poverty," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195305203, Octomber.
  8. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2005. "Elasticities of Demand for Consumer Credit," Working Papers 926, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  9. Hanming Fang & Glenn C. Loury, 2004. "Toward an Economic Theory of Dysfunctional Identity," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-146, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  10. Krishnan, P. & Krutikova, S., 2010. "Non-cognitive skill formation in poor neighbourhoods of urban India (updated 27-02-2012)," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1010, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  11. Sourafel Girma & Abbi Kedir, 2005. "Heterogeneity in returns to schooling: Econometric evidence from Ethiopia," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(8), pages 1405-1416.
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Cited by:
  1. Laborde, David & Martin, Will & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 2011. "Measuring the impacts of global trade reform with optimal aggregators of distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5665, The World Bank.
  2. Bernard, Tanguy & Taffesse, Alemayehu Seyoum, 2012. "Measuring aspirations: Discussion and example from Ethiopia:," ESSP working papers 47, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. repec:cge:warwcg:151 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Marcus Böhme, 2012. "Migration and Education Aspirations - Another Channel of Brain Gain?," Kiel Working Papers 1811, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  5. Zambrano, Patricia & Maldonado, Jorge H. & Mendoza, Sandra L. & Ruiz, Lorena & Fonseca, Luz Amparo & Cardona, Iván, 2011. "Women cotton farmers: Their perceptions and experiences with transgenic varieties: A case study for Colombia," IFPRI discussion papers 1118, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  6. Yamauchi, Futoshi & Liu, Yanyan, 2011. "Impacts of an early education intervention on students' learning achievement: Evidence from the Philippines," IFPRI discussion papers 1121, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Tanguy Bernard & Stefan Dercon & Kate Orkin & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2014. "The Future in Mind: Aspirations and Forward-Looking Behaviour in Rural Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2014-16, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  8. Cai, Ximing & Yang, Yi-Chen E. & Zhao, Jianshi & Ringler, Claudia, 2011. "Can water allocation in the Yellow River basin be improved?: Insights from a multi-agent system model," IFPRI discussion papers 1117, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. de Brauw, Alan & Gilligan, Daniel, 2011. "Using the regression discontinuity design with implicit partitions: The impacts of comunidades solidarias rurales on schooling in El Salvador," IFPRI discussion papers 1116, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  10. Laure Pasquier-Doumer & Fiorella Risso Brandon, 2013. "Aspiration failure: a poverty trap for indigenous children in Peru?," Working Papers DT/2013/10, DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation).
  11. Laura Camfield & Awae Masae & J. McGregor & Buapun Promphaking, 2013. "Cultures of Aspiration and Poverty? Aspirational Inequalities in Northeast and Southern Thailand," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 1049-1072, December.
  12. Prasad, Sanjay K. & Pullabhotla, Hemant & Ganesh-Kumar, A., 2011. "Supply and demand for cereals in Nepal, 2010–2030:," IFPRI discussion papers 1120, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Kosec, Katrina & Hameed, Madeeha & Hausladen, Stephanie, 2012. "Aspirations in rural Pakistan: An empirical analysis," PSSP working papers 9, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  14. Ghoshal, Sayantan & Jana, Smarajit & Mani, Anandi & Mitra, Sandip & Roy, Sanchari, 2013. "Believing in Oneself: Can Psychological Training Overcome the Effects of Social Exclusion?," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 152, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  15. Dercon, Stefan & Singh, Abhijeet, 2013. "From Nutrition to Aspirations and Self-Efficacy: Gender Bias over Time among Children in Four Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 31-50.
  16. Babu, Suresh Chandra & Glendenning, Claire J. & Asenso-Okyere, Kwadwo & Govindarajan, Senthil Kumar, 2012. "Farmers’ information needs and search behaviors: Case study in Tamil Nadu, India," IFPRI discussion papers 1165, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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