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Do High Aspirations Lead to Better Outcomes? Evidence from a Longitudinal Survey of Adolescents in Peru

Carol Graham and Julia Ruiz Pozuelo ()
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Julia Ruiz Pozuelo: University of Oxford

No 2021-004, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: Using a novel panel survey of relatively poor urban Peruvian adolescents, we explore the link between three type of aspirations (educational, occupational, and aspirations to migrate) and individual's propensity to invest in the future. We found remarkably high education aspirations, even among relatively poor individuals and adolescents that were exposed to negative shocks in the past, suggesting high levels of resilience among our sample. We also find that aspirations are quite stable over time, and positively associated with personality traits such as self-efficacy, life satisfaction, and locus of control, which helps explain their persistence over time. Finally, we find that high aspirations are strongly associated with positive future outcomes such as higher investments in education and less engagement in risky behaviors such as unsafe sex and binge drinking.

Keywords: adolescents; aspirations; human capital outcomes; risky behavior; Peru (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I24 J24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev, nep-edu and nep-lam
Note: MIP
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Graham ... aspirations-Peru.pdf First version, January 2021 (application/pdf)

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Journal Article: Do high aspirations lead to better outcomes? Evidence from a longitudinal survey of adolescents in Peru (2023) Downloads
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