||Dalton, Patricio (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research) ; Gonzalez Jimenez, Victor (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research) ; Noussair, Charles (Tilburg University, Center For Economic Research)
|We study whether 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 analyses show 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.
||poverty; productivity; mood; emotions; limited attention; experiments
||D03 J24 C91