Chris Blattman

Should Americans give the world’s poor cash or food? Apparently, the answer is “neither”

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Lauren Prather, Stanford PhD student, runs a survey experiment with 1000 Americans.

Subjects were told a news story about a government hunger relief program. Half were told poor people were given cash relief, while half were told food. Cutting across this, half were told the hungry people were Americans, while half were told it was foreigners.

Should the government should cut the program?

Cash or food to foreigners? Who cares! Roughly 56% said cut em off, cash or food.

What about to poor Americans? 28% said cut food, and 42% said cut cash.


I usually hate survey experiments, but I simply love this one.

Also, depressed. That more than half would cut food aid to starving foreigners makes me profoundly sad.

h/t Mathilde Emeriau.

One Response

  1. Glass is almost exactly half full as 44 percent did not propose cutting it off.

    Interesting that the mode of food over cash played a big role for Americans, while not for foreigners.

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