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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 July 2021

Aspirations, Poverty, and Economic Change

Aspirations, Poverty, and Economic Change

(p.409) 28 Aspirations, Poverty, and Economic Change
Understanding Poverty

Debraj Ray (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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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