Economic inequality is not something we are unfamiliar with. Even though income gap and economic gap sound similar, they are very different from each other. One is how much you earn, the other, however, also depends on how much you spend and how. This is the reason why some people come out of the circle of poverty and some cannot.
In third world countries such as Bangladesh, the poverty rate is very high and so is population density. People don’t often get opportunities to make a better life for themselves. In such conditions, seizing whatever opportunity comes your way is important. In poverty, using limited resources and surviving with that, is difficult, and there is barely any scope for savings. Whatever people earn, they spend immediately. This could also be one of the reasons why people can’t get out of the poverty trap; they do not have the habit of saving.
Breaking the cycle requires as much education, perhaps even more, as earning more money. An educated poor person is more likely to come out of the trap of poverty than an uneducated person, simply because an educated person would also know where and how to spend money wisely.
Urbashee Paul, a student at Northeastern University, shares her life’s story of rising from the clutches of poverty. Now under the guidance of Northeastern associate professor Alicia Modestino, Paul is analysing the impact of private and public summer jobs programs on high school students’ academic and future employment outcomes. She also wants to better understand the barriers to opportunities faced by the youth in the U.S. and other countries. Paul hopes that her work will yield solutions to mitigate the economic inequality they may face later in life.
She thinks the most crucial years for people living in poverty are their teenage years. It shapes them in certain ways and gives them traits that they are going to live with for the rest of their lives.