Chris Blattman

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So you like cash transfers to the deserving poor. But would you give cash to drug addicts, ex-fighters, petty criminals, and the homeless?

That’s what some colleagues and I tested in Liberia. I figured I wasn’t stressed out enough already, so why not study harder-to-track, more volatile populations in more expensive-to-survey countries than I already do?

We just collected our last data point, and so it’s far too soon to hand out hard results. But with all the GiveDirectly cash transfers hubbub in the press, I ended up spilling the beans (a little) to NPR Planet Money. Listen to the excellent episode. Some preliminary results to come after Christmas, I expect. The more interesting results, arguably, will come from attempts at behavioral therapy. Stay tuned.


One Response

  1. There’s been some similar studies that I have asked the same question. eg Skitka, L. J., & Tetlock, P. E. (1993). Of ants and grasshoppers: The political psychology of allocating public assistance. In B. Mellers, & J. Baron (Eds.) Psychological perspectives in justice (pp. 205-233). New York: Cambridge University Press.

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