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Understanding Poverty$
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Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Roland Bénabou, and Dilip Mookherjee

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195305197

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2006

DOI: 10.1093/0195305191.001.0001

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Aspirations, Poverty, and Economic Change

Aspirations, Poverty, and Economic Change

Chapter:
(p.409) 28 Aspirations, Poverty, and Economic Change
Source:
Understanding Poverty
Author(s):

Debraj Ray (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0195305191.003.0028

This essay discusses a particular aspect of poverty: its close and brutal association with a failure of aspirations. This is not an assertion about individuals who are poor; it is a statement about the condition of poverty itself. Poverty stifles dreams, or at least the process of attaining dreams. Thus, poverty and the failure of aspirations may be reciprocally linked in a self-sustaining trap. This essay seeks to draw out various aspects of this theme and, in the process, to introduce and discuss an aspirations-based view of individual behavior.

Keywords:   aspirations window, poor, individual behavior, social polarization, aspirations failure, collective action

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