Presidential address: aspirations, social norms, and developmentJOURNAL OF THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, 2019
I study the role of aspirations in economic development drawing on the existing theoretical andempirical literature and provide some new empirical findings using individual level data on aspirationsacross countries. After discussing the relationship between aspirations and individual investments,I present estimates on the correlates and determinants of students’ aspirations in the OECD’sProgramme for International Student Assessment data. I focus in particular on socioeconomic status,inequality, and institutional features that lead to horizontal segregation of education systems. Ithen address the question of whether and how aspirations can be changed, covering recent policyinterventions that leverage psychological factors, stereotypes and norms, and material endowments.