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Measuring Multidimensional Aspiration Gaps: A Means to Understanding Cultural Aspects of Poverty

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  • James Copestake
  • Laura Camfield

Abstract

This article links primary research into the way subjective well-being among poor people can be defined and measured to the growing literature on poverty as a failure of capacity to aspire. Data from Bangladesh, Thailand and Peru are used to illustrate a measurement strategy based on defining well-being as a function of the gap between individuals' diverse and multiple aspirations, and their satisfaction with achieving them. Such analysis has the potential to illuminate variation in individual and local capacity to respond to different development opportunities. It also warns against the limitations of treating aspirations as a single rather than a multidimensional concept. Copyright (c) The Authors 2010. Journal compilation (c) 2010 Overseas Development Institute..

Suggested Citation

  • James Copestake & Laura Camfield, 2010. "Measuring Multidimensional Aspiration Gaps: A Means to Understanding Cultural Aspects of Poverty," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 28(5), pages 617-633, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:devpol:v:28:y:2010:i:5:p:617-633
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    Cited by:

    1. Laura Camfield & Awae Masae & J. McGregor & Buapun Promphaking, 2013. "Cultures of Aspiration and Poverty? Aspirational Inequalities in Northeast and Southern Thailand," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 114(3), pages 1049-1072, December.
    2. Solava Ibrahim, 2011. "Poverty, aspirations and wellbeing: afraid to aspire and unable to reach a better life – voices from Egypt," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 14111, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
    3. Sumberg, James & Anyidoho, Nana Akua & Chasukwa, Michael & Chinsinga, Blessings & Leavy, Jennifer, 2014. "Young people, agriculture, and employment in rural Africa," WIDER Working Paper Series 080, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    4. Nicola Banks, 2015. "Understanding youth: towards a psychology of youth poverty and development in sub-Saharan African cities," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 21615, BWPI, The University of Manchester.

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