The case for cash, Exhibit 12

Lant Pritchett and Yamini Aiyarit further convince me on the merits of more cash and vouchers. Paraphrasing an email:

In India the government spends Rps 14,600 for a year of schooling, which is 80 percent of rural per capita consumption.

The average private sector school costs 6000.

And of course the government schools get substantially worse results.

Giving families the private school cost and the rest in cash could double each child’s food spending.

The last bit–would people be better off with cash–isn’t known for sure, but the evidence is building. I really think we ought to see massive policy experiments comparing public goods and services to cash, vouchers, or even a basic guaranteed income.