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

Author

Listed:
  • Ghoshal, Sayantan

    (Glasgow University)

  • Jana, Smarajit

    (Durbar University)

  • Mani, Anandi

    (University of Warwick)

  • Mitra, Sandip

    (ISI Kolkata)

  • Roy, Sanchari

    (University of Warwick)

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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:152
    as

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    File URL: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/152-2013_mani.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 2350-2390, October.
    2. Oded Galor & Joseph Zeira, 1993. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 35-52.
    3. 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 274-298, April.
    4. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-1034, December.
    5. Rajeev Darolia & Bruce Wydick, 2011. "The Economics of Parenting, Self‐esteem and Academic Performance: Theory and a Test," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(310), pages 215-239, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

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