UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Juan Sebastian Correa, University of California, Davis

The Impact of Psychological Asset Building on the Effectiveness of Peru's Haku Wiñay

Date and Location

Tuesday, November 24, 2020, 4:10 PM - 5:30 PM
933 988 20491, online Zoom


Poverty graduation programs are aimed at giving a big push out of poverty to rural households on very vulnerable economic conditions. These programs are regarded as a success since short and even long-term impacts have been observed on economic well-being indicators of participating households. One of the usual components of these programs is an explicit live skills coaching module. Anecdotal evidence points towards a very important role of this module on the success of the program. But to our knowledge, there is no clear evidence in the literature identifying the psychological mechanisms through which it operates. The Haku Wiñay program in Peru follows almost the “classic formula” of graduation interventions, except for the lives skills coaching. This provides a unique opportunity to understand how the coaching module works by offering an ancillary coaching intervention to a subgroup of the Haku Wiñay participants of 2017 cohort. Participants of the additional program are found to increase their internal locus of control – the belief of having control over the outcomes of events that affect their lives – and the value of a measure for hope relative to non-participants by around half and a fifth standard deviation respectively. Haku Wiñay participants with initial levels of locus of control above the median have an impact on annual income of the program that is more than 3 times larger than for those with initial levels below the median. These results suggest that the ancillary coaching intervention has the potential to influence economic well-being through an increase in locus of control.

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