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Merely an illusion: children´s accomplishment of educational and occupational aspirations in different poverty contexts in Peru

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The normalization of the a priori assumption on the return of education in human capital theory has led students to strive for and expect higher educational and occupational standards than previous generations. This belief has spurned developing countries to emulate the booming demand and supply of education which occurred to developed countries decades prior. Following, this study aims to: i) to show the various educational and occupational aspirations of children over time until the end of basic education, ii) to explore possible differential effects on educational and occupational aspirations by place of residence, and iii) to determine factors associated with children’s ability to meet their educational and occupational aspirations. In order to address each study objective, we use longitudinal data of the older cohort from the Young Lives Study (YLS) for Peru. Our main results reveal a general pattern of educational and occupational aspirations despite differing living contexts. As students further in their basic education, their educational and occupational aspirations increase; however, once children complete or leave basic education, their educational and occupational aspirations are reduced. Also, the multivariate analysis showed individual and family characteristics are key determinants in the accomplishment of these aspirations.

Image: IRD - Ginot, Patrick