Thinking of giving money to charity? Maybe you should give to a charity that does cash transfers - that is, gives the money directly to low-income people with no or minimal strings attached. Many in the “effective altruism” movement, which aims to find the best ways to spend money to improve people’s lives, are big fans of cash transfers to people in developing countries.
But lately, some blockbuster studies on cash transfers have come under heavy criticism. Does this cast doubt on the whole idea? In this episode, Tom and Stuart look at these new studies, and the evidence on cash transfers in general. How much do cash transfers really help when it comes to poverty, health, child development, and homelessness?
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GiveWell’s page on cash transfers
2016 systematic review on cash transfers from the Overseas Development Institute
2019 systematic review of cash transfers on many different outcomes
Nature paper on cash transfers for preventing early mortality
Stuart’s critical article in the i
PNAS paper on cash transfers in the US on children’s brain development
Stuart’s critical article in the Atlantic
Andrew Gelman’s post on the study
Jon Baron’s critical thread
The Studies Show is produced by Julian Mayers at Yada Yada Productions.