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Aspirations Social Norms and Development

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "ASNODEV" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: VIA SARFATTI 25
city: MILANO
postcode: 20136

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙618˙125 €
 EC max contribution 1˙618˙125 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-AdG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-11-01   to  2021-10-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Development economists and policymakers often face scenarios in which poor people do not make choices that would help them get out of poverty due to an “aspiration failure”: the poor perceive certain goals as unattainable and do not invest towards those goals, thus perpetuating their own state of poverty. The aim of this proposal is to improve our understanding of the relationship between aspirations and socio-economic outcomes of disadvantaged individuals, in order to answer the question: Can we design policy interventions that shift aspirations in a way that is conducive to development? In addressing the above question a fundamental role is played by social norms and by the ability of individuals to coordinate on “new” aspirations, hence the analysis of social effects is a salient feature of this proposal. The proposed research is organized in two workpackages. The first focuses on the media as a vehicle for changing aspirations, examining both commercial TV programs and “educational entertainment”. The second workpackage examines “tailored” interventions designed to address specific determinants of aspiration failures (e.g., psychological support to reduce perceived barriers; inter-racial interaction to change stereotypes; institutional reform to strengthen women’s rights and reduce the gender aspiration gap). The methodology will involve rigorous evaluation of several interventions directly designed to or indirectly affecting aspirations and social norms. Original data collected through survey work, large administrative datasets and media content analysis will be used. The results of this project will advance our knowledge on the sources of aspiration failures by poor people and on the interplay between aspirations and social norms, eventually opening the avenue for a new array of anti-poverty policies.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Eliana La Ferrara
Presidential Address: Aspirations, Social Norms, and Development
published pages: 1687-1722, ISSN: 1542-4766, DOI: 10.1093/jeea/jvz057
Journal of the European Economic Association 17/6 2020-01-28
2019 Abhijit Banerjee, Eliana La Ferrara, Victor Orozco
Entertainment, Education, and Attitudes Toward Domestic Violence
published pages: 133-137, ISSN: 2574-0768, DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20191073
AEA Papers and Proceedings 109 2020-01-28

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