This is a legacy website for the Behavioural Design Lab. It is no longer updated.
Behavioural Design Lab Subscribe Bird Contact

For Fighting Poverty, Cash Is Surprisingly Effective

Development, Economics, money, poverty, saving

Worldwide, richer people express fears about handing money to poorer people. Giving poor people money is no way to stop them being poor, the thinking goes: Surely they will just waste it. Instead, we design complex, bureaucratic programs like SNAP, the supplemental nutrition assistance program (formerly known as food stamps), to help poor families buy food and only food. That way, they can’t buy a trip to Disney World with our tax dollars.

A growing number of studies suggest that this is wrong-headed, that just handing over cash even to some of the world’s poorest people actually does have a considerable and long-lasting positive impact on their incomes, employment, health, and education. And that suggests we should update both our attitudes about poor people and our poverty reduction programs.

Read the rest of the article...

Related content

The psychology of saving

How Behavioral Science Can Improve Financial Technology Innovations

Harvards Sendhil Mullainathan on behavior and poverty

© 2015 Warwick Business School and the Design Council
jQuery UI Datepicker - Default functionality