Exposure to poverty and productivity

Patricio Dalton, Victor Gonzalez Jimenez, Charles Noussair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
656 Downloads (Pure)

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
Article numbere0170231
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2017

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    Dalton, P., Gonzalez Jimenez, V., & Noussair, C. (2017). Exposure to poverty and productivity. PLoS ONE, 12(1), [e0170231]. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0170231