Does Identity Affect Aspirations in Rural India? An Examination From the Lens of Caste and Gender

IFPRI Discussion Paper 1857

32 Pages Posted: 13 Aug 2019

See all articles by Muzna Fatima Alvi

Muzna Fatima Alvi

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Patrick S. Ward

Duke Kunshan University

Simrin Makhija

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Date Written: August 8, 2019

Abstract

We use priming, a concept popular in social psychology, to study the effect of identity salience on aspirations for self and children as part of an impact evaluation in Odisha, India. We measure the effect of an individual’s genderand caste-identity salience on improving aspirations for themselves and for their children’s future profession and education. We find that when women are primed on gender, they exhibit higher aspirations for their daughters. Similarly, low-caste women primed on caste are more aspirational for their daughters. We do not find similar results for men. The effect of caste priming is more apparent in areas where significant ethnic heterogeneity exists and muted in ethnically homogenous areas. We find that aspirations for boys are already very high, thus priming has no effect on aspirations for sons.

Keywords: gender, caste systems, priming, psychology, aspiration, children

Suggested Citation

Alvi, Muzna Fatima and Ward, Patrick S. and Makhija, Simrin and Spielman, David J., Does Identity Affect Aspirations in Rural India? An Examination From the Lens of Caste and Gender (August 8, 2019). IFPRI Discussion Paper 1857, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3434572

Muzna Fatima Alvi (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

Patrick S. Ward

Duke Kunshan University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, Jiangsu 215316
China

Simrin Makhija

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

2033 K Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
United States

David J. Spielman

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

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