Social Identity

Social Identity and Aspirations

  • Blog Post Date 31 July, 2014
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Priya Mukherjee

College of William and Mary

pmukherjee@wm.edu

The project is a field experiment in India that investigates whether the norms associated with one’s social identity affect one’s aspirations, beliefs, and eventual outcomes. Project exploits cues within the subjects’ existing environment to 'prime' either caste or gender identity, thereby introducing exogenous variation in the salience of one’s social identity. Randomly assigning whether a subject’s caste, gender or neither is primed, the project first elicits long-run aspirations of adolescents (parents) for their (their child’s) future economic outcomes. It finds that girls have aspirations and beliefs that are biased downwards when gender is primed, while parents of high-caste adolescents have higher aspirations and beliefs about income and educational attainment when caste is primed.

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