Aspirations and wellbeing essp2-ifpri (july 30, 2010)


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  • A large measure therefore refers to a low level of aspiration Note: the exogenously set maximum is not determinant in itself as long as it is the same for all individuals. However, since they are locally specific and have a framing effect, they may limit the use of instrument for cross-surveys comparisons. So for now, the instrument is mostly to be used to test aspiration relationships.
  • Aspirations and wellbeing essp2-ifpri (july 30, 2010)

    1. 1. Aspirations Failure and Well-Being Outcomes in Ethiopia <ul><li>Tanguy Bernard </li></ul><ul><li>Stefan Dercon </li></ul><ul><li>Kate Orkin </li></ul><ul><li>Kibrom Tafere </li></ul><ul><li>Alemayehu Seyoum Taffesse </li></ul><ul><li>ESSP2, IFPRI </li></ul><ul><li>July 30, 2010 </li></ul>10/20/10
    2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Motivation and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Documentaties </li></ul><ul><li>Survey and Treatment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Treatment Design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instrument design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Documentaries, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Questionnaire, </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Survey design; </li></ul></ul>10/20/10
    3. 3. Motivation <ul><li>Development discourse and praxis focus on ‘ opportunities ’ </li></ul><ul><li>Why do the poor not ‘invest’ when returns are and/or appear to be high? Fatalism? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The present study adopts the aspirations failure approach which: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>espouses a perspective akin to the fourth set of explanations outlined above; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>attempts to blend external constraints that the poor face with the potential effect these constraints may have on the internal logic governing choice by them; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>affords an alternative characterisation of what appears to be fatalism (Ethiopia) </li></ul></ul>10/20/10
    4. 4. Objectives <ul><li>to document measurement and identification issues relevant to the study of aspirations; </li></ul><ul><li>to devise and implement ways of addressing these measurement and identification problems; and </li></ul><ul><li>to measure aspirations; </li></ul><ul><li>to explore the formation of aspirations and their significance to well-being outcomes. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Better understanding of poverty dynamics in Ethiopia and possibly elsewhere . </li></ul></ul>10/20/10
    5. 5. Elements of the Aspirations Perspective <ul><li>What are Aspirations? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aspirations have two distinctive aspects: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Future-oriented - are goals that can only be satisfied at some future time (differ from immediate gratifications); </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Motivators - are goals individuals are willing, in principle, to invest time, effort or money in to attain (different from idle daydreams and wishes) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Note: the ‘willingness to invest’ is ‘potential’, or ‘conditional’ </li></ul></ul>10/20/10
    6. 6. Elements of the Aspirations Perspective <ul><li>How do aspirations condition individual behaviour? </li></ul><ul><li>Aspiration window : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>an individual’s cognitive world, his/her zone of ‘ similar ’, ‘ attainable ’ individuals; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflects the information and economic opportunities of the local environment; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Multi-dimensional (‘similarity’); </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aspiration gap : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>difference between the aspired ‘state’ and current ‘state’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conditions future-oriented behaviour - inverted U relationship between gap and effort </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A possible outcome is an aspiration failure - lack of pro-active behaviour (or ‘under-investment’) towards filling the aspiration gap </li></ul>10/20/10
    7. 7. Challenges <ul><li>Measuring aspiration </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aspirations, all aspirations and only aspirations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Identifying causal link between: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Aspiration window – aspirations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Aspiration gap – future oriented behaviour (~towards aspiration failure theory) </li></ul></ul><ul><li> Objectives of the current study </li></ul>10/20/10
    8. 8. Documentary time 10/20/10
    9. 9. Treatment design <ul><li>Partnership: CARE via VSLA program </li></ul><ul><li>Outcome variables </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Changes in aspirations (cf instrument) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Participation in VSLAs (whether? How much?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other future-oriented behaviour (time allocation, saving...) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Treatment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch documentary </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Window members watching documentaries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Address endogeneity by random allocation of invitations and intensity per village </li></ul></ul>10/20/10
    10. 10. Timing Household and individual survey: Aspirations + Xs Random allocation of invitation to movies Screening documentaries Re-survey: Aspirations Re-survey: Aspirations + take-up rate Follow-up take up in CARE’s M&E system
    11. 11. Measurement instrument <ul><li>Consider 4 (likely related) dimensions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>yearly income from all sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Unproductive domestic assets: one’s aspiration in terms of living standard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Children’s education level measured by completed years of schooling </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social status : percentage of individuals in one’s community who would ask for one’s advice before taking any significant decision. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Common unit = dimension-free measures: </li></ul><ul><li>relative distance to an exogenously set </li></ul><ul><li>maximum </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Helps framing (no Haile Gebre Selassie) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Same for all individuals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>(  not determinant in itself, but limits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cross-survey comparisons) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Aggregation: individual-specific weights </li></ul>
    12. 13. Controls <ul><li>Other possible explanations for lack of future-oriented behaviour </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low returns to investments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of information/knowledge </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other psychological constraints </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Eliminated by randomization </li></ul><ul><li>Test power enhanced by controls </li></ul>10/20/10
    13. 14. Window measurement <ul><li>Objective: find those people that count more in one’s cognitive world </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discrete? Continuous? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Good ideas??? </li></ul>10/20/10
    14. 15. 10/20/10