Low aspirations and well-being are inextricably linked, especially amongst the poor. Recent research shows that the poorest Ethiopians are more likely to have low levels of self-esteem and to hold a fatalistic view. These same individuals are also unwilling to borrow money or invest in education or new business. Research from India highlights the success of an after school programme designed to build self-esteem and raise the aspirations of teens in the slums of Mumbai. Participants in the programme had higher aspirations and greater self-esteem than their peers, as well as higher wages and better test scores.
Harris, A. iiG Briefing Paper 19. Aspirations matter: Shaping aspirations can play a crucialrole in enabling people to pull themselves out of poverty. CSAE Economics Department, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK (2012) 2 pp.