Aspirations and Economic Behavior

Posted: 14 Aug 2020

See all articles by Garance Genicot

Garance Genicot

Georgetown University - Department of Economics

Debraj Ray

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; Autonomous University of Barcelona - Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)

Date Written: August 1, 2020

Abstract

This article reviews the literature on aspirations in economics, with a particular focus on socially determined aspirations. The core theory builds on two fundamental principles: (a) Aspirations can serve to inspire, but still higher aspirations can lead to frustration and resentment; and (b) aspirations are largely determined by an individual's social environment. Using the structure of this core theory, we discuss the implications of our framework for the study of interpersonal inequality, social conflict, fertility choices, risk taking, and goal setting.

Suggested Citation

Genicot, Garance and Ray, Debraj, Aspirations and Economic Behavior (August 1, 2020). Annual Review of Economics, Vol. 12, pp. 715-746, 2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3669607 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-080217-053245

Garance Genicot (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Department of Economics ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States
202-687-7144 (Phone)
202-687-6102 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.georgetown.edu/faculty/gg58

Debraj Ray

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-8906 (Phone)
212-995-4186 (Fax)

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)

Campus UAB
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

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