Roles of Social Conformity in Deviance in Poverty: A Study on Working Poverty and Educational Investment in Bangladesh

31 Pages Posted: 19 Sep 2013

See all articles by Biswa N. Bhattacharyay

Biswa N. Bhattacharyay

Asian Development Bank; Asian Development Bank Institute; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Partha Gangopadhyay

University of Western Sydney

Mustafa Abdul Rahman

Northern University Bangladesh

Date Written: September 18, 2013

Abstract

In recent decades the Indian subcontinent has displayed remarkable invariance in the incidence of working poverty despite strong economic performance. It is widely held that education can rescue households from various types of poverty traps created by information problems and incorrect expectations. Yet very little is known about the motivation of the working poor in acquiring education. From a field study conducted in Bangladesh, this paper provides invaluable insights for the first time, to our best understanding, into the factors that shape the decision of a poor household to care about and respond to educational decisions of others in one’s community. Based on the “Choice-Theoretic Framework of Rational Emulation and Deviance”, this paper empirically explains why some households choose to copy others, while some choose deviance even though social deviance in acquiring education can throw subjects into abject poverty. In particular, the paper examines the determinants of the (individual) educational expenditure of a household sheltering the working poor.

Keywords: social conformity/copying, deviance, poverty, education, Asia, India and Bangladesh

JEL Classification: L000, L130

Suggested Citation

Bhattacharyay, Biswa Nath. and Bhattacharyay, Biswa Nath. and Gangopadhyay, Partha and Rahman, Mustafa Abdul, Roles of Social Conformity in Deviance in Poverty: A Study on Working Poverty and Educational Investment in Bangladesh (September 18, 2013). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 4395, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2327522 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2327522

Biswa Nath. Bhattacharyay (Contact Author)

Asian Development Bank ( email )

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Partha Gangopadhyay

University of Western Sydney ( email )

PO Box 10
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Australia

Mustafa Abdul Rahman

Northern University Bangladesh ( email )

Ibat Trust
93 Kazi Nazrul Islam Ave
Dhaka, 1215
Bangladesh

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