Aspirations and Economic Behavior

Annual Review of Economics

Vol. 12:715-746 (Volume publication date August 2020)
First published as a Review in Advance on June 5, 2020
https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-economics-080217-053245

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.

Keywords

Choose Your Access Option

Restore content access

Note: This functionality works only for purchases done as a guest. If you already have an account, log in to access the content to which you are entitled.

Existing Users

Are you already a subscriber or have purchased pay per view access in the last 7 days?

Access Through Your Library/Institution

For institutions and librarians: a site license allows your patrons to access Annual Reviews publications seamlessly. For further information, and to obtain pricing for your institution, visit the Librarian Resource Center.