Experiments with unconditional cash benefits around the world have proven to be one of the most successful ways of reducing poverty. The fear that cash recipients would waste their money on drugs or alcohol, stop working, or have more kids have been disproven by the World Bank. Many of these behaviors were actually reduced.
Since 1998, there have been a total of 461 research papers published on the topic. You can view them all here.
In the last 50 years, there have been more than 30 cash transfer programs studied. Here are a few of our favorites:
- The “Mincome” Experiment, Manitoba, Canada (reduced hospitalization and no reduction in work hours)
- BIG Pilot Project, Namibia (reduced crime, reduced school dropouts, and improved health)
- Give Directly, Kenya (increased assets and nutrition, and no change in drugs or violence)
- View them all here.
The data is clear – giving people money enables them to live better lives. But put aside the data for a moment and just think about it for yourself. What would you do with an additional $1,000/month? How about your family and friends?
Universal Basic Income is real and will transform our society for the better; we just need the courage and will to both care about and invest in our people.