Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Why not just give money to poor people directly?

NPR's Planet Money has another episode that almost justifies the enormous amount of subsidies given to it.  They document an experiment giving $1000 to very poor people in Kenya and in Liberia. 

Those in Kenya did well, and it seemed to result in permanent improvement in their lives.  In Liberia, the results were temporary, probably because the economy is so inefficient in Liberia. 


  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPKKQnijnsM&feature=em-share_video_user

    I wonder how it could work in USA?

  2. It seems that it could work better than long-term welfare because it doesn't create a recurring incentive to not work. We talked about this case in Bart Victor's class and it also increases the agency of the recipient and the freedom to do with the money what they please is empowering and can help create long-term change.