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Cash: as heterogeneous as people themselves – Cash in the News

The newly released Future of Work Conference video features a host of interesting speakers including our own Michael Faye, who spoke about cash transfers and basic income. He says, “The impacts of cash are as heterogeneous as people themselves. If there is one lesson, it is that every individual has different unique needs.” On the airwaves this week, both the BBC and WNYC covered basic income, while in print, Rema Hanna and Benjamin Olken wrote an op-ed in the Jakarta Globe: “Cash Transfers to Indonesia’s Poor Don’t Discourage Work.”

GIVEDIRECTLY IN THE NEWS AND BLOGS

1. Future of Work Conference Videos Online
BIEN, Kate McFarland, July 9, 2016
Panel discussions include the Experiments Panel (Guy Standing, Michael Faye of GiveDirectly, Ville-Veikko Pulkka of Kela, Amira Jehia of Mein Grundeinkommen), Labor Panel, (Andy Stern, Nell Abernathy, Vania Alleva, Dorian Warren), and Entrepreneurs Panel (Albert Wenger, Natalie Foster, Robin Chase, Betsy Masiello).

CASH TRANSFER NEWS

2. Cash Transfers, Childhood Development and The Labor Market
Phys, Michele Berger, July 12, 2016
Nearly every country in Latin America has a conditional cash transfer program. Poor households living below the poverty line can receive government subsidies if they agree to the program’s stipulations, usually a mandate that the families invest in the well-being of their children. But how does this influx of cash affect the decision-making process for these households?

3. 5 Ways an Emergency Mobile Wallet Can Lead to Financial Inclusion
CGAP, Jamie Zimmerman James Pearse and Silvia Baur, July 11, 2016
In the run up to the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit in May, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for the use of cash transfers as the default method of helping those in desperate circumstances.

4. Commentary: Cash Transfers to Indonesia’s Poor Don’t Discourage Work (passed Congress)
Jakarta Globe, Rema Hanna and Benjamin Olken, July 9, 2016
In 2013 we founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab’s Southeast Asia (J-PAL SEA) office – based in Jakarta at the University of Indonesia (UI) – to help answer critical policy questions through rigorous randomized evaluations, which are widely considered the “gold standard” for identifying the impact of a program or policy, and to make the results available to and usable by policymakers in Indonesia and throughout the region. This has helped Indonesian policymakers get reliable evidence on the effect of many programs, from how best to identify poor households for government assistance to how to reduce corruption in village road projects.

5. Aadhaar goes global, finds takers in Russia and Africa
Live Mint, Amrit Raj and Upasana Jain, July 9, 2016
The Indian government has made Aadhaar the pivot for delivering subsidies and other social welfare benefits directly to the people by transferring cash to their bank accounts, seeking to cut out middlemen and curb leakages. It is also a key element in India’s move towards a cashless economy.

EFFECTIVE ALTRUISM

6. This Startup Entrepreneur Lives On Min. Wage So He Has More Money To Donate
The Huffington Post, Linch Zhang, July 11, 2016
Ben West is a startup entrepreneur based out of Madison, Wisconsin. He is also a member of the Effective Altruism community and had donated over $100,000 to effective charities before his company even started, and expects to donate millions in the future. I interviewed him to understand more about his motivations and drive and to see if he has practical advice for Huffington Post readers.

BASIC INCOME

7. ​Money for Nothing
BBC, Helen Grady, July 11, 2016
Should the state pay everyone a Universal Basic Income? Sonia Sodha finds out why the idea is winning support from an unlikely alliance of leftists and libertarians.

8. A Guaranteed Basic Income for All
WNYC, Charlie Herman, July 8, 2016
Could free money help with the country’s financial woes? While economists and folks on Wall Street dig into the latest unemployment report released today, the nation’s workers continue to deal with stagnant wages, men in their prime vanishing from the workforce and a sluggish economy. This is prompting some to toy with an unconventional solution: a universal basic income.

9. There’s No Mistake: A Universal Basic Income Would Work
Prospect, Stewart Lansley and Howard Reed, July 7, 2016
However, a “modified” scheme, one that began by providing a UBI at a moderate level while leaving much of the existing system intact, would be perfectly feasible. Contrary to Cruddas and Kibasi’s claims, such a scheme, while not a silver bullet, would offer substantial gains: a sharp increase in average income among the poorest, a cut in child poverty of 45 per cent, and a modest reduction in inequality, all at a manageable cost of £8bn.

10. Top White House Economist Dismisses the Idea of a Universal Basic Income
The Wall Street Journal, Jeffrey Sparshott, July 7, 2016
A UBI would present the most disadvantaged among us with an open road to the middle class if they put their minds to it,” American Enterprise Institute scholar Charles Murray said in a Wall Street Journal column last month. “It would say to people who have never had reason to believe it before: ‘Your future is in your hands.’ And that would be the truth.