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Aspirations and the role of social protection: Evidence from a natural disaster in rural Pakistan:

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  • Kosec, Katrina
  • Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung

Abstract

Citizens’ aspirations for the future are politically important; they are linked to welfare and whether citizens engage in forward-looking political and economic behavior. How do natural disasters affect aspirations, and can governments’ social protection policies successfully mitigate any damaging effects? If natural disasters threaten aspirations, there is strong policy interest in understanding these threats and what government can do to protect aspirations. This article uses Pakistan’s 2010 floods to identify the effects of a natural disaster on citizens’ aspirations. Aspirations were significantly reduced—especially among the poorest and most vulnerable. However, by exploiting exogenous variation in access to targeted government social protection, the authors show that social protection following natural disasters can significantly reduce their negative aspirational effects. This offers a new understanding of government social protection. It not only raises social welfare in the short term by restoring livelihoods and replacing damaged assets; it also has an enduring effect by raising citizens’ aspirations for the future. The authors show not only that the aspirations of citizens matter for citizens’ behaviors, but also that government policies can effectively protect and increase those aspirations. This implies that the value and efficacy of government disaster relief programs are underestimated when aspirations are not taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Kosec, Katrina & Mo, Cecilia Hyunjung, 2015. "Aspirations and the role of social protection: Evidence from a natural disaster in rural Pakistan:," IFPRI discussion papers 1467, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:1467
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    Cited by:

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    2. Brown, Philip & Daigneault, Adam J. & Tjernström, Emilia & Zou, Wenbo, 2018. "Natural disasters, social protection, and risk perceptions," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 310-325.
    3. Duchoslav, Jan & Kenamu, Edwin & Thunde, Jack, 2021. "Targeting Hunger or Votes? the Political Economy of Humanitarian Transfers in Malawi," 2021 Conference, August 17-31, 2021, Virtual 314977, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    4. Martin Paul Jr. Tabe-Ojong & Thomas Heckelei & Kathy Baylis, 2021. "Aspiration Formation and Ecological Shocks in Rural Kenya," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 33(4), pages 833-860, August.
    5. Sajid, Osama & Bevis, Leah E.M., 2021. "Flooding and child health: Evidence from Pakistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    6. Yashodhan Ghorpade & Patricia Justino, 2019. "Winning or buying hearts and minds?: Cash transfers and political attitudes in Pakistan," WIDER Working Paper Series wp-2019-91, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
    7. Dalton, Patricio & Rüschenpöhler, Julius & Zia, Bilal, 2018. "Determinants and Dynamics of Business Aspirations : Evidence from Small-scale Entrepreneurs in an Emerging Market," Other publications TiSEM 5208b11c-cf81-45bc-9dd7-e, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    8. Chen, Joyce & Kosec, Katrina & Mueller, Valerie, 2019. "Moving to despair? Migration and well-being in Pakistan," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 186-203.
    9. Moya, Andrés & Carter, Michael R., 2019. "Violence and the formation of hopelessness: Evidence from internally displaced persons in Colombia," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 113(C), pages 100-115.
    10. Hare Krisna Kundo & Martin Brueckner & Rochelle Spencer & John Davis, 2021. "Mainstreaming climate adaptation into social protection: The issues yet to be addressed," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 33(6), pages 953-974, August.
    11. Ross, Phillip H. & Glewwe, Paul & Prudencio, Daniel & Wydick, Bruce, 2021. "Developing educational and vocational aspirations through international child sponsorship: Evidence from Kenya, Indonesia, and Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    12. Cazzuffi, Chiara & Díaz, Vivián & Fernández, Juan & Leyton, Cristian, 2020. "Spatial inequality and aspirations for economic inclusion among Latin American youth," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C).
    13. Kai Mausch & Dave Harris & Javier Revilla Diez, 2021. "Rural Aspirations: Reflections for Development Planning, Design and Localized Effects," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 33(4), pages 795-808, August.
    14. Lee, Chien-Chiang & Wang, Chih-Wei & Ho, Shan-Ju & Wu, Ting-Pin, 2021. "The impact of natural disaster on energy consumption: International evidence," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C).
    15. Jing Liu & Fubin Huang & Zihan Wang & Chuanmin Shuai & Jiaxin Li, 2020. "Understanding the Role of Rural Poor’s Endogenous Impetus in Poverty Reduction: Evidence from China," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(6), pages 1-16, March.
    16. Ravi Nandi & Swamikannu Nedumaran, 2021. "Understanding the Aspirations of Farming Communities in Developing Countries: A Systematic Review of the Literature," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 33(4), pages 809-832, August.
    17. Kosec, Katrina & Wantchekon, Leonard, 2020. "Can information improve rural governance and service delivery?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    18. Ummad Mazhar, 2021. "Women empowerment and insecurity: firm-level evidence," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 56(1), pages 43-53, January.
    19. Sung Soo Lim, 2020. "The Effects of Chronic Illness on Aspirations and Subjective Wellbeing," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 21(5), pages 1771-1793, June.
    20. Britta Höllermann & Kristian Näschen & Naswiru Tibanyendela & Julius Kwesiga & Mariele Evers, 2021. "Dynamics of Human–Water Interactions in the Kilombero Valley, Tanzania: Insights from Farmers’ Aspirations and Decisions in an Uncertain Environment," The European Journal of Development Research, Palgrave Macmillan;European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), vol. 33(4), pages 980-999, August.
    21. Malhi, Fareena Noor, 2020. "Unconditional Cash Transfers: Do They Impact Aspirations of the Poor?," MPRA Paper 102509, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    22. Katrina Kosec & Jie Song, 2021. "The effects of income fluctuations on undernutrition and overnutrition across the lifecycle," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 30(10), pages 2487-2509, September.
    23. Muhammad Khan & Hee Yong Lee & Jung Han Bae, 2019. "The Role of Transparency in Humanitarian Logistics," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(7), pages 1-27, April.

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