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Hope as Aspirations, Agency, and Pathways: Poverty Dynamics and Microfinance in Oaxaca, Mexico

In: The Economics of Poverty Traps

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  • Travis J. Lybbert
  • Bruce Wydick

Abstract

Work in positive psychology decomposes hope into aspirations, agency, and pathways. Operating in the context of an economic model developed with this framework, we review the literature on hope from philosophy, theology, psychology, and its relationship to emerging work on aspirations in development economics. We then present one-month follow-up results from an experimental study based on a hope intervention in Oaxaca, Mexico among 601 indigenous women with access to microfinance loans. Our early experimental results suggest that the intervention raised aspirations approximately a quarter of a standard deviation, significantly raised a hope index among the treated subjects, and had positive but statistically insignificant results on enterprise revenues and profits.
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Suggested Citation

  • Travis J. Lybbert & Bruce Wydick, 2017. "Hope as Aspirations, Agency, and Pathways: Poverty Dynamics and Microfinance in Oaxaca, Mexico," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Poverty Traps, pages 153-177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:13832
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    Cited by:

    1. Janzen, Sarah A. & Magnan, Nicholas & Sharma, Sudhindra & Thompson, William M., 2017. "Aspirations failure and formation in rural Nepal," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 139(C), pages 1-25.
    2. Garcia, Adriana & Lensink, Robert & Voors, Maarten, 2020. "Does microcredit increase aspirational hope? Evidence from a group lending scheme in Sierra Leone," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    3. Malhi, Fareena Noor, 2020. "Unconditional Cash Transfers: Do They Impact Aspirations of the Poor?," MPRA Paper 102509, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Aguinaga, Paulina & Cassar, Alessandra & Graham, Jennifer & Skora, Lauren & Wydick, Bruce, 2019. "Raising achievement among microentrepreneurs: An experimental test of goals, incentives, and support groups in Medellin, Colombia," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 79-97.
    5. Shakra, R., 2018. "Aspirations and Farmers Investment Choices - An Investigation of Aspirations Failure in South Africa," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277177, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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    JEL classification:

    • O12 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development

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