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For Years Now, GiveDirectly has been Conducting the World’s Largest Test of Basic Income

It is giving around 6,000 people in rural Kenya a little more than $20 a month, every month, starting in 2016 and going until 2028. Tens of thousands more people are getting shorter-term or differently structured payments. As you might expect, given how entrepreneurially minded the recipients are, the researchers found no evidence that any of the payments discouraged work or increased purchases of alcohol — two common criticisms of direct cash giving. In fact, so many people who used to work for wages instead started businesses that there was less competition for wage work, and overall wages in villages rose as a result. And they found one major advantage for monthly payments over lump sum ones, despite the big benefits of lump sum payments for business formation. People who got monthly checks were generally happier and reported better mental health than lump sum recipients.

THE ECONOMIST | VOX