Date of Graduation

Spring 5-19-2017

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Bruce Wydick


This research is an extension to the Oaxaca Hope Project by B. Wydick and T.J. Lybbert. How does an individual gauge her own satisfaction with life? Previous research has noted that many domains make up overall life satisfaction, i.e. career satisfaction, family life satisfaction & social life satisfaction. A burgeoning topic in this regard is the role that aspirations play in life satisfaction. Using survey data from female microfinance borrowers in Oaxaca, Mexico this project attempts to analyze the affect previous aspirations have on life satisfaction. By creating an “aspirational window” we objectively attempt to gauge the relationship between “high” and “low” aspirations in how they interact with life satisfaction as an outcome. Using a Tobit estimation and community bank clustered standard errors we find small but significant results showing that aspirational achievement does in fact improve life satisfaction. This research project hopes to add more depth to the dynamism of aspirations literature.