This paper aims to highlight the mechanisms underlying the complex exclusion process of indigenous people in Peru, by analysing the role of aspirations in their investment in education. Relying on a very rich data set, the Young Lives data, we find that indigenous children do not suffer from a lack of aspiration. They do not have internalized racial schemas about their opportunities. However, aspiration is a channel of inequality persistence between indigenous and non-indigenous people, by exacerbating the effect of socioeconomic status on educational achievement, as socioeconomic status predicts the level of aspiration which in turn impacts progress in language acquisition.
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