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

  • Ghoshal, Sayantan

    (Glasgow University)

  • Jana, Smarajit

    (Durbar University)

  • Mani, Anandi

    (University of Warwick)

  • Mitra, Sandip

    (ISI Kolkata)

  • Roy, Sanchari

    (University of Warwick)

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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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
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Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:152
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  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 2350-90, October.
  2. Galor, Oded & Zeira, Joseph, 1988. "Income Distribution and Macroeconomics," MPRA Paper 51644, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Sep 1989.
  3. Tanguy Bernard & Stefan Dercon & Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse, 2011. "Beyond Fatalism - An empirical exploration of self-efficacy and aspirations failure in Ethiopia," CSAE Working Paper Series 2011-03, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  4. Dasgupta, Partha & Ray, Debraj, 1986. "Inequality as a Determinant of Malnutrition and Unemployment: Theory," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 96(384), pages 1011-34, December.
  5. 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.
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