The role of psychological attributes such as hope in escaping poverty hasattracted increasing attention. Crucial questions include the impact ofearly development of positive psychological attributes on socioeconomicoutcomes, and whether interventions to reduce poverty increase suchattributes. We examine the impact of international child sponsorship on thepsychology of Indonesian children by employing a novel program evaluationtechnique-a quantified analysis of children's self-portraits. To identifycausal effects, we exploit an eligibility rule that established a maximum agefor participation. We find that international sponsorship significantly raisessponsored children's levels of happiness (0.42σ), self-efficacy (0.29σ),and hope (0.66σ).
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