In our default program, we provide a one-time transfer paid in multiple installments. In other programs, such as COVID-19 relief or basic income, we deliver cash as multiple smaller payments. We tell recipients exactly how much they should expect to receive and what the timeline will look like during the enrollment process before transfers are sent.

We also conduct experimental research comparing the impacts of different transfer timings. In a first study, we found some evidence that recipients are more likely to spend larger lump-sum transfers on physical assets and more likely to spend streams of smaller payments on nutrition. Recipients themselves tend to prefer a small number of large payments; in ongoing work, we are estimating the impact of giving them more control over transfer timing.

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