VoxEU Video CEPR Women in Economics Poverty and Income Inequality Women in Economics

Escape the aspirations trap

A focus point in Eliana La Ferrara’s work is finding ways to help people escape the poverty trap. She found that one way to do this is to learn more about people’s aspirations.
The traditional view, explains La Ferrara, assumes that limited resources are the reason people get stuck in poverty. Individuals who are poor will have low investment, for example in education, and that will keep them poor. The solution may seem simple, that the way out of poverty is through additional resources and higher income. According to La Ferrara, that view is far too short-sighted.