This Brown Bag at Brookings India presentation examined the drivers of the aspirations of rural women around income, asset ownership, social status and the education of their children. Using data from five states in Northern India, the study explored what role the average levels of outcomes in geographical and caste-based reference groups have to play in the formation of aspirations. It then investigated how the gaps between current and aspired-to status influence individual investments in financial, social status-related, and educational dimensions.
Speaker profile: Kalyani Raghunathan earned her Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University in May, 2015, and a Master’s in Quantitative Economics from the Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi, in May, 2010. Her research interests lie in the evaluation of social protection schemes. Currently she is involved in evaluating the impacts of agriculture-nutrition programmes delivered through the women’s self-help group platform, and of smaller-scale cash transfer schemes in India.
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