Higher Aspirations, to a Point, Can Lead to Greater Investment in the Future
Research has shown that an individual’s beliefs about what she can achieve have an impact on how she invests in her future. Using baseline data from a larger study on an asset transfer program for women in rural Nepal, we tested how these women’s aspirations affected their investment in the future. We found that higher aspirations, up to a point, meant higher savings and greater expenditures on their children’s education. But when aspirations were too high, rates of both fell. These and other findings suggest that programs addressing aspirations may offer one pathway out of poverty.