Exposure to poverty and productivity

Patricio S. Dalton, Victor H.Gonzalez Jimenez, Charles N. Noussair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study whether exposure to poverty can induce affective states that decrease productivity. In a controlled laboratory setting, we find that subjects randomly assigned to a treatment, in which they view a video featuring individuals that live in extreme poverty, exhibit lower subsequent productivity compared to subjects assigned to a control treatment. Questionnaire responses, as well as facial recognition software, provide quantitative measures of the affective state evoked by the two treatments. Subjects exposed to images of poverty experience a more negative affective state than those in the control treatment. Further analysis shows that individuals in a more positive emotional state exhibit less of a treatment effect. Also, those who exhibit greater attentiveness upon viewing the poverty video are less productive. The results are consistent with the notion that exposure to poverty can induce a psychological state in individuals that adversely affects productivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0170231
JournalPloS one
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Exposure to poverty and productivity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this