Australian Health & Human Capital Economics Seminar| Aspirations, Assets and Anti-Poverty Policies by Kate Orkin
Welcome back to the Virtual Australian Health & Human Capital Economics Seminar Series, which goes into its second year. This event is organised by A/Professor Victoria Baranov (UMelb), Dr Sarah Walker (UNSW), Professor Stefanie Schurer (USyd), Dr Rebecca McKibbin (USyd), Professor Adeline Delavande (UTS), and Professor Brenda Gannon (UQ).
The seminar series is open to the public. Sign up HERE for mailing list.
Aspirations, Assets and Anti-Poverty Policies.
Wednesday 8 June 2022
4.00pm – 5.00pm
Zoom Link: https://utsmeet.zoom.us/j/85952932988
Abstract: In rural Kenya, higher aspirations for one’s future economic outcomes are associated with higher investment in income-generating activities and labour supply, suggesting that raising people’s aspirations might improve these outcomes. In a field experiment, we study the effects of a psychological intervention which trains recipients to set realistic medium-term aspirations for improving their lives and define concrete steps and plans to achieve them, particularly in the domain of their economic activities. After 17 months, the treated group increases both labour supply and spending on income-generating activities, earn higher revenue, and are able to finance higher consumption and asset accumulation. In this setting, the intervention is nearly twice as cost-effective in terms of effects on consumption and assets as a widely scaled large unconditional cash transfer programme. The intervention increases aspirations, but has no effects on a number of other psychological mechanisms. These results are consistent with a model of reference-dependent utility, in which the intervention raises current investment by raising individuals’ reference point — or aspirations — for future economic outcomes.
For further information regarding this seminar and Virtual Australian Health & Human Capital Economics Seminar Series, please contact Professor Stefanie Schurer (firstname.lastname@example.org)